How to Create a Super-Safe Password That's Easy to Remember

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q I have to remember so many passwords that require all kinds of number and letter combinations. How can I create something that I can remember?

 

A First, remember what not to do. Don’t use simple words or numbers someone might guess—your child’s name, your birthday or your anniversary date for example.

 

So, how does one create a better password? To begin with, it should be complex—a mix of letters (upper-, lowercase), numbers and even a sprinkle of punctuation marks.

 

I can anticipate your next question: OK, if it’s that complex, how am I going to remember it?

 

I’ll show you how to create a very secure password that is easy to remember. Begin by creating, say, a six-word sentence or phrase that’s easy to remember, such as Joseph (assuming that’s your name) knows how to add numbers. Take the first letter of each word, and you have these six letters: jkhtan. Now make the first three capital letters and the remaining three lowercase. If you’re 45 years old, add the 4 at the beginning of the password and 5 at the end. So now you have 4JKHtan5. Let’s add two punctuation marks to make it even stronger—a question mark in the front and an exclamation point at the end. So now you have this very powerful password that’s a cinch to remember: ?4JKHtan5!

 

You get the idea: Start with a sentence you can easily remember and build around it.

 

SPONSORED REPORT

Why cybercriminals are targeting CPAs

This free report expands on the most commonly found scams, why education and specialized IT knowledge help to lessen security vulnerabilities, and why every firm should plan carefully for how it would respond to a breach.

PODCAST

How tax reform — and Excel — are changing the CPA Exam

Mike Decker, the vice president of examinations at the AICPA, discusses changes being made to the exam as a result of tax reform — and about how Excel will now be available for use on the test.