What do Facebook, blog, twitter account (several), LinkedIn, Gmail and online banking all have in common?
The requirement to enter a password on log-in.
If you have ever read anything about internet security you will have heard that it’s not smart to use the same password for all the secure connections you habitually make. You need to have various different passwords in order that identity thieves having broken down the wall to your garden don’t also then have the keys to your car, your house and your safe.
1. You need unique passwords for every secure connection
To keep a multiplicity of passwords on the go without forgetting any of them is tough! Some of you will have all of them noted down somewhere, on a scrap of paper in your wallet perhaps or if you are more security conscious, in an excel spreadsheet printed out and hidden under your bed or even more securely in a password protected word document on your PC. CAUTION! Any document kept anywhere, containing all your passwords, is a weak link in your online security. What if you have that wallet stolen, or your partner throws out the excel spreadsheet in the trash or you leave that word document open on your computer and then go for a quick comfort break at Starbucks?
2. You need to be able to remember unique passwords without recording them on a master document
Unique and memorable (like picture above)
Here is a simple way of generating 1 – unique and 2- memorable passwords for every secure connection
Take an expression or phrase you like and/or find memorable
A line from a
- favourite film e.g. ‘alltheginjoints’ (Casablanca) ‘youhadmeathello’ (Jerry Maguire)
- A favourite poem ‘Iwanderedlonely’ (Wordsworth)
- A favourite book ‘callmeishmael’ (Melville)
- Something funny a friend once said
Remove all spaces and then add the first letter of the name of the platform for which you are creating a password e.g. f for Facebook to the start and the last letter k to the end
Using this system here’s how you will make as password for…
memorable phrase – alltheginjoints + g at start and l at end = galltheginjointsl
Memorable phrase – alltheginejoints + a at start and n at end = agalltheginjointsn
Alltheginjoints + w at at start and s at end = walltheginjoints
Some secure connections require a mixture of letters and numbers in the password
To create an easily remembered unique number to add to the password, either at the end of the beginning, count the number of letters in the name of the platform you are accessing and multiply it by a number you will remember/your favourite number.
Let’s say your favourite number is 7
Gmail = 5 x memorable number 7 = 35 + galltheginjointsl = galltheginjoints35
Bank of Scotland = 14 x 7 = 98 + balltheginjointsd98