Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Passwords… WOW! … A long time away …

It has been quite a while since I last posted on this blog. I apologize to all my readers. Life got busy and here we are. Life is still busy, but I wanted to get back into the swing of blogging.

First comment:  Passwords…. how can you remember them all AND what should you do to make them secure AND what happens if you forgot or lost them?

Lots of important questions there!

That’s another reason I was so long in getting back into this blog.

I know you are NOT supposed to write down your passwords ANYWHERE.

I know that you are to change them OFTEN.

I know that they must NOT be real WORDS.

So what can you do?

Somewhere since I last wrote on this blog… I read something or heard someone speak about PASSWORDS.

This is what I remember and what I took away for my personal use.

These examples are not my real information, so don’t try to get into my accounts!

Start with a basic phrase or sentence that has some meaning to you. I always use the example “Mary had a little lamb, little  lamb, little lamb.” That sentence/phrase is a little bit too redundant for this purpose, but we will use it anyway because no one would use it, so it’s safe to use as an example.

Take the first letter of each word (or if you are really smart try the last letter of each word!)

So we would have

Mary had a little lamb,little lamb, little lamb.”

MHALLLL

As we all know (now!) we must use at least 6 characters; some websites require 8-10 characters.

We must also use more than just letters. We need numbers and upper and lower case letters, and symbols or numbers. This makes it harder to crack.

Now we add in numbers, but not special birthdates, etc. and not in a row. We can look at some of the letters and use numbers or symbols that remind us of certain letters. 1=L, 3=E, 8=S and so forth.

Put your capital letter (at least one) in someplace and be sure to also have at least one lower case letter; maybe both types in several places throughout including at the beginning and the middle.

We started with

Mary had a little lamb,little lamb, little lamb.”

It turned into 

MHALLLL

Which we could call in our minds m hall ll 

(Note 4 L’s at the end.)

OR you could have added extra numbers in addition to the

MHALLLL

MHALLLL391

(I didn’t do these extra numbers at the end)

for a longer password (harder to crack!)

So now we can have something like this:

m4A1!7L

m 4 A 1 ! 7 L

note the numbers, letters (cap and small) and the symbol

If you are still “with” me, you could add 2-3 characters at the end to remind you at what website or computer this password needs to be used.

This makes every password for every site DIFFERENT!

… for aol.com this would work

m4A1!7LaOl

… for gmail.com this would work

m4A!7LgM

… for facebook.com this would work

m4A1!l7LfB

… for yourbank.com this would work (TD Bank)

m4A1!l7LtD

Hopefully, you have the idea. This procedure saves you having to write down all your passwords for each site.

You know the basic phrase you started with.

In our case it kind of spells a word; if you were Mary Hall, often your user name might be mhall.

You know the website you are using it on.

You know the capitals, lower case, numbers, and symbols you are substituting.

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to You

This could be another example of a phrase!

Please comment on what you think of this idea and

what phrases/sentences

would make a good password.

1 comment:

Mr. S said...

Great blog about passwords