Got A Bad Case Of Password Exhaustion?
You’re not alone! Most people use the same password everywhere – home, work, Gmail, Facebook… even for banking. Considering how many passwords we’re expected to remember and use on a daily basis, password exhaustion is a very real thing.
It’s no wonder that when yet another prompt for a password appears, users enter easily guessed combinations like ‘abcd’ or ‘password’. Trouble is, even if your password is making the required effort, hackers are taking a daily stroll around the internet and collecting logins and passwords as they go, from either leaked details or sites with security flaws.
Then, they’ll try their luck with that login/password set elsewhere. They know more than half the internet users in the world have only one password and email combination, so the chance of gaining access to your accounts is actually quite high.
Even the big names in tech are at risk of password breaches:
- 360 million MySpace emails and passwords leaked.
- 117 million LinkedIn account details leaked.
Same password used elsewhere? Cue the domino effect! One site breach follows another and another until hackers have nothing more to gain. The only way to break this chain reaction is to use a different password for each site.
How to Create Easily Remembered Passwords
Short answer: The secret to creating a hard-to-crack password that’s unique and easy to remember is to focus on making it memorable and making it hard to guess. Seems simple enough, right? By learning a few simple skills, you can easily create a strong and memorable password with minimal effort. Plus, creating them can actually be fun – and your payoff in increased safety is huge.
To avoid these easy to guess or hack passwords try one or more of the following tricks:
Use a phrase and incorporate shortcut codes or acronyms
These examples let you use phrases that either means something to you, or you associate with a type of website. For example, the ’all for one and one for all’ may be the password for a social networking site where it’s all about sharing. It could be a phrase about money for a banking site, and so on.
- 2BorNot2B_ThatIsThe? (To be or not to be, that is the question – from Shakespeare)
- L8r_L8rNot2day (Later, later, not today – from the kid’s rhyme)
- 4Score&7yrsAgo (Four score and seven years ago – from the Gettysburg Address)
- John3:16=4G (Scriptural reference)
- 14A&A41dumaS (one for all and all for 1 – from The Three Musketeers, by Dumas)
Use passwords with common elements, but customized to specific sites
These examples tell a story using a consistent style so if you know how you write the first sections, and you’re on the login page for a site you’ll know what to add.
- ABT2_uz_AMZ! (About to use Amazon)
- ABT2_uz_BoA! (About to use Bank of America)
- Pwrd4Acct-$$ (Password for account at the bank)
- Pwrd4Acct-Fb (Password for a Facebook account)
What to Do If Your Password Has Been Hacked
You can check to see if any of your accounts have been compromised by entering your email into a site like haveibeenpwned.com. If it alerts a breach, you need to change your passwords immediately – all of them. Use the example system above to create a new set. If you’re struggling to remember your set of passwords, consider using a secure password tracker such as LastPass.
If you need help changing your passwords or setting up a secure password system, let us know 218-830-GEEK (4335) and we’ll be more than happy to help you.