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How to Create a Secure Password That You’ll Always Remember

How to Create a Secure Password That You’ll Always Remember

It seems like we hear of a new hack every day that puts our sensitive information at risk. Do you have a secure password up to the task of preventing hacks into your sensitive data?

What is your password style?

Does one of these sound like you:

  • I’ve used the same password for 20 years with only a few modifications.
  • I only change my password when forced to. e.g. if a website forces a password change due to a security risk.
  • I always include personal information in my password, such as my name, date of birth or children’s names.
  • I use really secure passwords but keep them written on a piece of paper in my wallet/purse/desk.
  • I have the same password on at least 5 accounts.

Many of are guilty of having one or more of the above styles. Before we get into creating an easy-to-remember, yet secure password let’s review what we do NOT want to do in our passwords.

What NOT to Do to When Creating a Secure Password

  1. Do not use words you can find in the dictionary.
  2. Do not use personal information.
  3. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
  4. Do not create short, easy-to-hack passwords. 8 characters should be your absolute minimum. (the longer the better)
  5. Do not write the password down in an unsecure location. (e.g. a post-it note that you put in your wallet)
  6. Do not keep the password the same for a long time.

What You SHOULD Do to Create a Secure Password

  • Do use upper and lowercase letters e.g. HhAa.
  • Do use numbers in your password.
  • Do use special characters in your password e.g. !@#.
  • Do use numbers and special characters within the password (not just at the ends. e.g. Password1! vs pAs5W@rd).

Keys to Creating a Secure Password That You Will Remember

We often find it easier to recall passwords that are tied to memories.  Consider using some of the following inspiration when creating a secure password:

  • your favorites
  • memorable vacations
  • entertainment likes: books, movies, tv shows, magazines
  • any strong memory
  • wedding details
  • firsts

Now let’s turn this inspiration into a secure password.

Example 1

Let’s start with our favorite color:

Start with the phrase. –> I Love Purple

First off we substitute a heart emoticon for the word ‘Love’.

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I + <3 + Purple

Secondly, since “purple” can be found in the dictionary change at least one letter into a number or special character.

I + <3 + Purp!e

Final Password:  I<3Purp!e

You will always remember what your favorite color is so this becomes an easy to recall secure password.

Example 2

Let’s try this again with a TV Show we like, The Big Bang Theory. Let’s add a character from the show into this password and create a phrase using the first character of each word.

My favorite Big Bang Theory character is Sheldon.

M + F + B + B +T + C + I + S

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Next, let’s change the casing to match what it would be in a real sentence.

M + f + B + B +T + c + i + S

Last, we should add a special character and a number.

M+ f + B + ! +T + c + 1 + S

Final password: MfB!Tc1S

Looking at the above password, it doesn’t seem that memorable; however when you say the passphrase, it will be easy to recall. You used an exclamation mark for ‘Bang’ and the number one is to make it more secure.

If you regularly use the same types of swaps for numbers and special characters they will be easier to recall. e.g. for an l or i use a 1 or !.

Example 3

Let’s do one last example. You’ll notice wedding details was included in the inspiration list. But you’ll recall that you don’t want to use personal information, so we want to use a particularly strong memory associated with your wedding. An easy choice would be to use your wedding party.

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Say these were the people in my wedding party: Tom, Charlie, Kent, David, Gloria, Julie, Anna and Mary

First let’s put the first letter from all of those names together.

T + C + K + D + G + J + A + M

Second let’s add in a special character, in this case let’s separate the men’s names from the women’s.

T + C + K + D + # + G + J + A + M

Now we need a number. An easy to remember number would be the month, date or year of your wedding. All 3 split out would make it the most complicated (note: this is personal info but we are using it in a way that makes it hard to hack).

mm + T + C + K + D + # + dd + G + J + A + M + yy

Let’s put in the real numbers now and see the password: 01TCKD#01GJAM00

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This is a pretty secure password already but let’s change up the letter casing by alternating upper and lowercase letters.

Final Password: 01TcKd#01GjAm00

Now it’s your turn. Practice making some secure passwords from favorites or memories out of the inspiration list.

Note: it’s never a bad idea to use a password storage application, even when you create secure passwords that you’ll always remember. We all have so many online accounts that remembering which password goes with which account can be a challenge. 

 

Featured photo credit: 8 Levers of Triplicane / C/N N/G via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

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            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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