Create unique and secure passwords with this simple technique

Passwords are usually trouble-makers. People really get frustrated over keeping multiple passwords for multiple accounts, changing them regularly, all these while still maintaining the complexity of the passwords to be “strong” ones.

There are pretty long known recommendations for passwords, a few I shall explain first as a part of the problem.

  1. Passwords should be STRONG - create a password that is “impossible” to guess.
  2. Use alphabets (lower and upper cases), numbers and even special characters. Most of the standard websites mandate this PATTERN.
  3. Do not use a SINGLE password in all applications/websites. You don’t know which one of those is vulnerable, eventually leading to get all your accounts compromised.
  4. CHANGE passwords regularly, at least for the accounts with financial capabilities
Yeah, better said than done. Because an average person uses around 20-25 accounts on the internet alone, let alone the device passwords, ATM pins etc. So that would require a person to have at least around 100 (25 x 4) different STRONG passwords in his custody since most of the websites do not allow re-use of the last three passwords, some even more. Bit of impractical, huh?

Now, I am suggesting a simple technique to easily tackle this problem. Lets start with passwords first and deal with PINs later. Well it does not apear that SIMPLE, but trust me it would really make your life a lot simpler. Lets begin by listing the steps.
  1. Identify a good phrase, that’s too easy for you to remember. Lets take a popular one, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. That’s pretty easy to remember, but doesn’t seem quite like a password, right?
  2. Now encode this to make it shorter. Find your own way to get this done, use capital letters, numbers and even special characters. 
    “1@pl/dDctrY?” - how does this sound? Well let me explain how I got to this.
    1. I changed the quote slightly into “One apple per day, doctor why?”. Well that makes it shorter and hard to guess, since such a quote seldom exist.
    2. Now instead of One, I substituted a number 1.
    3. Apple was first shorted into Apl, and then the A was replaced by an @.
    4. For the part “per day”, per was replaced with the symbol / that usually represent “per”. Also, the day was abbreviated into a single character d.
    5. Doctor was again shortened into Doctor. A capital D was intentionally used here.
    6. And finally “why” was replaced with a single capital character Y.
    7. And since it is a question, I added a question mark also at the end.
    8. Now still it reads your favorite quote, but only for YOU.
  3. We are not done yet. Now lets make a customization pattern so that you can adapt the same password differently for different websites. say for Facebook, my password is 1@plK/dDctrY?. Confused? I’ll explain.
    1. I just chose an identifier for Facebook, say the last character of the name of the website/application - ‘K’.
    2. I just inserted it at a known position - after my word “apple”.
    3. So for Google, this would be 1@plE/dDctrY?, and for Twitter it would be 1@plR/dDctrY?.
    4. That is my custom password is now 1@plX/dDctrY?, where X denotes the last character of the name of the target website/application etc.
    5. When you create your password, its a good idea to use something more complex 
  4. One more step to go. Now lets account for changing the passwords regularly. Suppose our password for the application X is 1@plX/dDctrY?, and we have to change the password every month. I choose the password pattern in a way that my password for June 2018 is je@plX/dDr18Y?. Didn’t get it yet?
    1. Identify the current month, its June 2018.
    2. Now pick an identifier for the month. I choose the first and last letters of the month, i.e. June becomes je; and the last two digits of the year, i.e. 18.
    3. I substitute those at certain known place in the password. So my password becomes 1je@plX/dDctr18Y?.
    4. But now the password appears a little long, right? So I decided to cut it short by eliminating the 1 in the beginning and abbreviating Doctor with Dr.
  5. So now lets guess what would be the password of Facebook in August 2019. It would be at@plK/dDr19Y?. 
Now we have a sweet, complex yet SIMPLE, master password of 14 character length that you can recollect at any time for any application.
MM@plX/dDrZZY?
where MM, ZZ—> notation for the current month; X —> identifier for the application.
When you create your own password, make sure to add enough complexity in choosing the phrase, in encoding the phrase and creating and positioning the identifiers for the applications and the period. The password created like this ensures sufficient security, as even if one of the passwords is compromised, it would not immediately affect the other accounts.

Though the technique may seem long and complex in the start, understand that this is a one time activity and once the process is fully finalized, creating and recollecting the passwords would be extremely simple. Try this out and let me know your comments.

Happy passwording.