CREATING A PASSWORD
Many sites now require a password that has both small case and upper-case letters, numbers and special characters. This can often result in people creating passwords that are often forgotten. This sheet will help you create a password that both meets these requirements and is easier to remember.
First, think of something you can remember (i.e. type of car, a pet’s name, etc.) The item you choose should be at least 4 letters long, depending on which password creative advice you use. Most times, you will want at least six letters.
Now, using the chart below, replace letters that you can with the numbers:
A=4 A=FOUR) (A four looks like an A with a leg cut off)
E=3 (E=THREE) (A three looks like a backwards E)
I=1 (I = ONE) (A one looks like an I)
O=O (O = ZERO)
You will come up with something that looks a little less than what you originally chose. For example, if you chose the name “Pete”, when altered it would look like “P3t3”. You have now used upper-case letters, numbers and lower-case letters. But, this password would be too short, so you have to add to it. You can choose a year that you will remember like the year you started school, the year a child was born, etc.; or you can choose 4 digits like the last four of your phone number, first 4 of your social security number, etc.
For the purposes of building this example, let’s say you started school in 1990. You have P3t3 as the first part of your password, so combine the two to get p3t31990. You now have an 8-digit password that meets all the criteria except the special character. So, make it simple and add the first special character at the top which is “!”. Add that to the end of your password and you now have “P3t3e1990!”
Some passwords require you change them every so often. Most of the time, all you have to do is change the special character at the end to the next one. In our example we had “P3t31990!” as the original password. The new password would be “P3t31990@”.
PRACTICE: Keeping in mind that you need upper-case, lower case, numbers and special characters.
My first car was a ’69 Impala. The password could be: _______________________________________
My cat’s name is Pita and he was born in 2000. The password could be: ________________________
I live on Maple Street and the last 4 of my phone number is 5515. The password could be: _________
My daughter’s name is Sara and the first four of her SSN is 1234. The password could be: _________
If need be, you can write clues on a piece of paper and keep it in your wallet. For the password P3t31990!, you could write two clues:
What rose is banned from stadiums? (Pete Rose)
What year was the Hubble telescope launched? (1990)
For 691mp4l4!, the clue could be something simple, just write down “My first car”
For P1t42000!, the clue could be “What year was a pain in the ass?”
For M4pl35515!, the clue could be “Sweet sap call number”
For 54R41234!, the clue could be “Call my daughter for security”
With the clues, just make sure you write down something you will easily remember.
Another, not too difficult one to remember is mixing numbers with names. The number could be the last four of a phone number, the first four of a phone number, the first for of the SSN, the last four of an SSN, the house number, year of birth, month and day of birth, whatever.
Example: the password is Mike and the last four of his phone number is 0618. The password could be “M0i6k1e8!” or it could also be “M016k138!” using the letter replacement method above. Either one would make no sense to someone trying to break your password.