1. A unique, reusable passphrase
To begin, think of a “passphrase,” something unique to you that is easy to remember, such as “Because you’re mine, I walk the line.” We will use this passphrase as part of our scheme for all passwords and it will be the only thing you need to memorize.
A passphrase contains the elements of a normal password (letters, numbers, special characters), but when “decrypted/deciphered” is much larger than the password key itself. In “Because you’re mine, I walk the line,” you could grab the first letter of each word from that line (as underlined) and make something like: B4m!wtl.
Content provided by LBMC Information Security professional, Mark Warren.
You could practically say it while you type it, and it wouldn’t make sense to the person beside you. This becomes your root element and should be committed to memory, so make the phrase something meaningful to you. You will find that it is not difficult to remember after a few uses.
2. An element unique to each login
The second element of our pass phrase contains an element from the site you are logging in to. Once a method is chosen, you should remain consistent about it from site to site. You might pull the letters from the URL, or from the title, or from a phrase in your head that symbolizes the site to you.In this example, we will pull the last three letters from the host name in the URL. When logging in to Gmail, our element would be “ail.” To make it less conspicuous, you may want to shuffle those letters. However you do it, be consistent from site to site. For our example, we will reverse the letters, making our second element “lia” Our password for Gmail now becomes: B4m!wtllia
3.Something unique to you
Your final element should be something unique to you. You might choose to add a string that is meaningful to you, such as a date or set of symbols. You may choose to add a revision number for passwords that must be periodically changed.For this example we will add an age, “29 years old,” making our final password “B4m!wtllia29y0.” The estimated crack time for this password by a desktop PC is approximately 157 billion years!
So for YouTube, our password would become “B4m!wtlebu29y0” and for Yahoo our password would become “B4m!wtlooh29y0.”
You may string the elements together in whatever combination makes the most sense to you. You may choose to use the root element last, or in the middle. The example above is by no means exhaustive.
- Create different schemes for passwords that you share with your family or friends.
- Create different schemes for work, recreation, or critical passwords.
The key is to find something unique to you. Find a pattern that fits you and you will never forget it.
The landscape of digital security requires us to be proactive and vigilant. The three-step approach outlined here provides a solid foundation for creating passwords that not only defy easy deciphering but also cater to our innate ability to remember patterns and phrases. As we traverse the intricate web of cyberspace, let us remember that our passwords are the first line of defense against an array of digital threats. By fashioning passwords that combine personal meaning, website specificity, and a touch of individuality, we transcend mere security measures; we create digital fortresses that shield us from the persistent barrage of cyber risks.
In a world where our lives are increasingly intertwined with technology, taking the time to craft impervious passwords is an investment in our own digital safety. Let the knowledge gained here empower you to assert confidently: “I never forget my passwords. My passwords are unique to each of my logins. My passwords are virtually impossible to hack.” After all, in the realm of digital security, it’s not just about passwords – it’s about peace of mind.