What The Tech: Effective Ways To Create Good Passwords


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Will we ever be able to get rid of passwords? It’s nearly impossible for the average computer user to use correctly and the #1 way the bad guys access so many accounts to commit fraud and identity theft. That’s the thing about passwords. It isn’t supposed to be easy for hackers to guess them which makes it impossible for us to remember them.

Consider how cybersecurity firms suggest we create passwords. Great passwords should be 13 characters or longer. They should be a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters, all while including no common words.

A password should be unique. In other words, you should never use the same password more than once.

That means we should have a different impossible-to-remember password for Facebook, bank accounts, credit card accounts, email, social media, business apps, YouTube, Slack, and every other account that requires a login.

Come on!! It’s no wonder we’re so bad at passwords.

You can use a password manager such as LastPass or OnePassword. Another option is a fingerprint scanner that plugs into the computer’s USB drive or a phone’s charging port. While these are good solutions, they’re not without headaches.

So here’s a solution. A trick to setting and remembering passwords that meet the criteria.

Think of two movie or song titles.
For this exercise, we’ll choose “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Spy Who Loved Me”. We’ll take the first letter of each word in those titles as the base of our passwords. BATBTSWLM

Put one of the titles in all lower case. BATBtswlm
Now, choose a special character or symbol and put it between the two titles. BATB$tswlm Now we need to include a number or two. For this example, we’ll change the A to an 8. This leaves us with B8TB$tswlm

That is a solid password, but you still don’t want to use it for every account. Here’s the secret. Add another special character at the end and use the first two letters of the account.

For Facebook, that’d be B8TB$tswlm#fa.

Do the same for all of your accounts.
LinkedIn would be B8TB$tswlm#ln
Gmail: B8TB$tswlm#gm
Venmo: B8TB$tswlm#ve
And so on.

You could change your shortcut to the first and last letter of the account. Or placing the first letter at the beginning of the password and the last letter at the end.

The thing is, all you have to remember is the name of the two movies or songs and your special

After a few weeks, or even days of changing your passwords, you’ll easily remember your passwords.
If you feel the need to change your passwords, just change the song or movie titles. It’s a simple solution to a huge problem. And it works.