It's the eternal struggle, creating a strong password that is hard to crack yet easy to remember.
We are usually forced to use random letters uppercase and downcase, numbers and symbols and the password should be at least 8 characters long.
All of that is very good for security but very bad for our brains. If you try to remember: HP2Epzo&BTPuyQV chances are that you will end up writing it down on a piece of paper.
So here is the trick I use to generate passwords that are easy to memorize.
Use letters from a sentence
It has the perfect balance between security and rememberability.
Think of a sentence that you remember from a movie or from a song that you like and then use the first letter of each word to create the password.
To add an extra level of security you can:
- Use the last letter from each word.
- Alternate between the first and the last word.
- Substitute one letter with a symbol like: # $ % & * . ,
- Add numbers to the sentence if there are none.
- Think of a song you don't like yet you know the lyrics instead of one that you like.
... be creative.
These are a couple of examples using Iron Maiden songs.
Fly on you way like an eagle, fly as high as the sun.
The resulting password is: foywlaefahats
Let's improve it a bit:
With an ampersand to join the two sentences: foywlae&fahats
Adding the year that the album was released: foywlae&fahats1983
Oh Well, wherever, wherever you are, Iron Maiden's gonna get you, no matter how far.
The resulting password is: owwwyaimiggynmhf
That's a very good password by itself but we can spice it up.
Put Iron Maiden in uppercase: owwwyaIMiggynmhf
Add some numbers and symbols. I'm adding the year that the album was released and changing the first O with an asterisk.
The resulting password is: 1980*wwwyaIMiggynmhf
As you can see generating secure passwords that are easy to remember is not as hard as it may seems if you are creative.
Anyway what I would recommend you is to use a password manager if you can. Let them generate the passwords for you.
But even a password manager needs a password to open it and also there are other situations like starting a session in your computer, that requires you to enter a password.
With the help of your favorite movie/song and a bit of creativity you can create good passwords that are hard to crack and yet rememberable.
Top comments (9)
I wrote, some time ago, a small article here on dev.to with another mind trick to generate and memorize different passwords for every website, using just only one "cerebral memory slot": fantastic passwords and how to generate them.
How does this help you remember which password goes to which application?
Like I said in the summary using a password manager is the best option but for those cases where you can't avoid entering a password (like when starting your computer) this method can help you generate a strong password that you'll remember.
Wouldn't it be better to use a federated login so that you don't have to remember passwords at all? There are so many of these that exist, why not use one?
Doesn't that open you up to losing access to multiple websites if, for some reason, you lose access to the "main" site? For example, if for some reason you lost access to your Google account, you would lose all access to any account where you used that as the login.
Comparing the state of tech to physical world should plainly show how ridiculous it is to use different user name and password on every site, doesn't it?
If you can, yes, use it. But there are many companies where that's not possible.
picking songs from Iron Maiden and Peace of Mind for the win!