Using a different password for each service is a requirement in today’s online world. But there is a terrible downside to randomly generated passwords, they are impossible to remember. The human brain is incapable of remembering so many different passwords.
Here are some valuable tips for coming up with creative and secure password ideas that are impossible to guess, but easy to remember.
No article on passwords is complete without listing all the ways to make sure your passwords are secure. Whatever passwords you create with this guide, make sure they are:
- At least 10 characters long
- Do not contain words found in the dictionary
- Has a variety of upper and lowercase letters
- Include at least one number (123) and one special character (!@£)
- Don’t contain information that can be easily linked to you, such as your date of birth, phone number, spouse’s name, pet’s name, or home address
All of those requirements may seem like a lot to wrap your head around, but you can create a secure password in three simple steps:
- Find a basic password that’s easy to remember
- Change your password so it doesn’t use dictionary words
- Add symbols and numbers to your changed password
Following those steps, you can vary the base password for each service you use so that it is always different. We will explain how to do this below.
Find an Effective Base Password
The first thing to do is to find a basic password that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess. You can use real words in your base password, but make sure you follow our advice to change it later.
Here are some creative ideas for easy-to-remember basic passwords. Try to choose one that allows you to enter the service name as well, so it’s different for each account.
Choose Random Words From Dictionary
This is probably the best way to create a secure base password because random words are harder for others to guess. Open a dictionary on a different page and combine the first few words that catch your eye.
If you don’t have a paper dictionary, you can use Word of the Day or trending words from Dictionary.com.
I combined three trending words to come up with this password:
I can vary it by replacing one of the words with the service I’m logged into:
Think Lines From Songs
Use a line from a song or poem you like. But try to choose something obscure and not very well known. For example, it’s possible to use the latest Taylor Swift chorus.
Similarly, you can choose a line from a nursery rhyme or famous phrase.
This is a line from a song I like:
If I create a creative password for Instagram, I can use:
Use Lines From Your Favorite Books
Again, don’t make this a famous line. Instead, take your favorite book and turn to a random page, then select any line or phrase from that page. If you like, you can highlight this row and associate it with the page so it’s easy to find again in the future.
You can even add page or line numbers to your passwords too.
I opened my book to page 67 and chose the phrase:
Adding the service name there, it becomes:
Explain Something Around You
Most of us are always at our computer desk when we need to remember different passwords. For that reason, you may need to describe something around you and use that description as your base password.
Describe your desktop wallpaper, the view out the window, objects in the room, or pictures you have on the walls. But make sure the description is unique and unusual.
Here is my description of a painting on my wall:
Again, I can easily replace the words with another service I use:
Create Your Own Phonetic Alphabet
The phonetic alphabet is a list of words that you can use to refer to different letters when speaking on the phone or on the radio. It started, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie for ABC.
Instead of using the standard phonetic alphabet, create your own alphabet using random words that start with the same letter. Then use this alphabet to spell the first few letters of the service you created the password for.
This means you can have a completely different base password for each account. All you need to do is memorize your phonetic alphabet.
Here’s my own alphabet for the first three letters of Facebook:
Change Your Password
By now, you should have created a basic easy-to-remember password that you can change for the various services you log into. It’s time to make your passwords more secure by changing the common words you use so that they are not standard dictionary words.
Here are some creative ideas on how to change your password.
Playing With Vocals
You can remove the vowels from your base password, but that’s kind of self-explanatory. Instead, why not remove every other vowel, move the vowel to the end of the word, or replace each letter with an e?
Here is my original base password:
Now I’m going to move all the vowels to the end of each word to change it:
Shorten Every Word
If you have a very long base password, you can remove the first three letters of each word. Other creative ideas include removing every other letter, removing all but the first and last letters, or using only the first letter of each word in your password.
Using the same base password as before:
I can remove the first three letters of each word to create:
Reverse Your Base Password
This is a simple way to change your password so that it doesn’t use words found in the dictionary. You can choose to reverse each word or reverse only one of them. However, you may want to combine this with another transformation method to make sure your password isn’t too simple.
Reversing the same base password I used earlier gives us:
Zipper Various Words Together
Use alternating letters of each of the different words in your base password to put them together. It’s a genius idea to come up with a completely incomprehensible password that’s still easy to remember. Or at least, easy to work with.
The easiest way to use this trick is if you only use a few words in your base password. Type the first letter of each word, then the second, then the third, and so on until you run out of letters.
The words that make up my base password are:
Which I can zip together to make:
Add Numbers and Symbols
Your password is not complete until you add numbers and special characters as well. This final step takes it from relatively secure to practically unbreakable, although you’ll notice that our sample passwords became much harder to read as a result, which is one of the many other reasons to use a password manager (Read 7 Reasons You Should Use Password Manager).
Here are the most creative ideas for adding numbers and symbols to your passwords.
Memorize Random Order
The easiest way to add numbers and special characters to your passwords is to memorize the random strings you use in each password. You can add this string to the end, but it’s best to weave it all over your passwords.
Here’s an example of some random numbers and special characters:
4 $ 5% 6 ^
And here’s one of the changed passwords we created:
Now, here’s what happens when you put them together:
4etal $ ocohC5htims% oreA6eriF ^
No one will guess!
A memorable way to keep varying the numbers you use in your password is to count the vowels or consonants that appear in the service’s name. You can then enter each of those numbers in a different place in your password.
For example, my changed password for Facebook:
Let’s add the number of vowels in Facebook to the beginning and the number of consonants at the end, making:
Use Motor Pattern
Motor patterns are not about remembering actual symbols or numbers. Instead, you create a pattern to follow based on where your fingers are on the keyboard. This is the best way to add symbols to your password, although it doesn’t work well for mobile devices.
Instead of typing the first letter of each word, enter the number directly above it and the first symbol to the right of that line. This is just an example, you will have to create your own system to add numbers and symbols instead.
Using that rule, my password was changed to:
3[talocohC6: timsoreA3 [riF
Mengganti Huruf untuk Angka dan Simbol
Ada banyak cara yang jelas untuk mengganti huruf dengan angka atau karakter khusus yang berbeda. Cobalah untuk menghindari penggantian yang umum dan buat milik Anda sendiri. Dengan begitu, lebih sulit bagi orang-orang atau komputer untuk menyelesaikan polanya.
Hindari penggantian yang umum seperti ini:
Alih-alih, buat pengganti yang benar-benar unik seperti ini:
kami bisa menggunakan pergantian yang sama dengan kata sandi terakhir yang diubah untuk membuat:
et ^ l% c% hCht] ms %re^er]F
It would be stronger if I didn’t replace the same letter every time.
Password Manager Still the Best Option
Now you know how to create a memorable password that is different for each service. While these creative ideas help make your passwords secure, they’re still not as secure as completely random passwords. But for that, you have to use a password manager.
There are many great password managers on the market. While it may seem counter-intuitive to keep all your passwords in one place, a good manager is usually much safer than trying to remember all the different passwords yourself, see Best Free Password Manager for All Your Devices.