One Easy Solution Which Uses The Human’s Ability To Imagine.
One of my emails was hacked, not an uncommon happening these days. Hackers and spammers could do nicer things with their brains only as ever the cart’s before the horse. Hacking and spamming is all they know, and they probably can’t see a way out. They probably enjoy the challenge too, so they don’t even want a way out. Which is a problem for us and it’s not as if we aren’t facing enough challenges as a species without their adding to them.
Now you can imagine that it didn’t take me long to change the offending password. And others too because some of them were the same! It took me a while to work out a strategy, as I didn’t want the same one for several accounts.
We all have passwords for emails, Facebook, Twitter, and just about any forum we post on. When most passwords aren’t very sophisticated you can see that it’s not that hard to crack them.
After all, the hacker with his password generating software tries all the usual suspects first. Names of pets, hometowns and relatives are all tried first, along with their derivative variants. This 80-20 analysis of common passwords is effective, no few accounts are hacked using a long list of the usual suspects.
The easiest way around this is to have a randomly generated password for each of your accounts. A password like Cfp9Ad6n – it’s easy when you can save them in your browser’s memory capacity. Only when you’re away from home and it’s not so easy to remember them when you’re using your uncle’s computer.
My own way to deal with the issue of multiple passwords has not to resort to the memory function in my computer. For important passwords, I’d rather they stayed in my head where they can’t be dug out so easily.
Strengthening An Ordinary Password.
Let’s take a password at random – “goodybags”. Only a “strong” password is one that has both upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. The random password will have all of these but as you’ve seen, it won’t be easy to remember. After all the computer doesn’t care, to them it’s just another line of code. So we need to make it easy to remember but harder for our hacker’s software.
- Capitalizing a letter will help – Goodybags.
- Reversing two syllables might just be enough to do the trick – bagsGoody.
- Better yet – bagsGo0dy – adding a number instead of a letter. (Zero in this case).
It looks the same, and it’s the sort of thing you can handle in your imagination. And that means your memory too, because they’re closely related.
Multiple Secure Passwords
Our problem now is that they’re the same for all your logins. This makes it easier to remember which ones go where, but also easier for your visiting hacker. My idea was both relatively easy to remember and gives you a good number of sensibly secure passwords.
So for example your Linkedin account password becomes L&bagsGo0dy.
You have upper and lower case letters, a special character and a numeral. For Facebook this password becomes F&bagsGo0dy, Gmail – G&bagsGo0dy – I think you get my drift. A password could also be Gmail+bagsGo0dy, to make it a little more difficult – but no harder to remember!!
Of course it could be bags-F-Go0dy as some systems may not accept the ‘&’ symbol. When we’re online, we have to work with what software engineers limit us to! Computers don’t do friendliness unless it’s been programmed beforehand. A little like Dutch bureaucrats – they don’t mean to be nasty. They just act that way without knowing why.
In any case since the computer doesn’t know what either Facebook or Youtube actually are means we can stay one step ahead. It’s not as good as a random password for each account. However, it is a technique that allows you to remember what your passwords are when you’re away from home or using someone else’s computer.