A Lesson in Password Making
People often ask how they can have different passwords for different websites without a password manager software. In this little lesson, we will teach you how! If you don’t have a system in place, you can’t possibly remember more than 10 passwords. But as you rely on dozens and dozens of sites, you have to make sure that all of your passwords are unique and complex. We have developed the PassMix system as a guide that will teach you how to create your own passwords.
An effective password is:
- Unique for each website.
- At least 6-9 characters in length. The longer the better.
- A mix of letters (some capital, some not), numbers, and/or symbols.
The PassMix system works works in 3 easy steps:
- Create a password base
Think of one or two words. We will use the word dog to illustrate, but you can use any other words. It’s even better if you invent a couple of words that don’t exist in the dictionary. In our example, all our passwords from now on will be based on the dogdog string. In the next step, we will…
- Make a complex base
As mentioned above, passwords that contain numbers and symbols together with letters are much more effective. To complicate our dogdog string, we will mix it up with the symbol @. So now we get dog@dog.
Since there are no set rules, your password mixing system could be very different. You might want to use a combination of numbers and symbols, for example 21#, and place it at the beginning 21#dogdog or at the end dogdog21#, or spread it out 2dog1dog# The important thing is to decide on initial words that will form your base, and mix them up with numbers and symbols.
In the next step, we will…
- Make a unique password for every site
Consider that each website’s name has a different name and different length. Ebay has 4 letters, Paypal has 6. Ebay starts with the letter e, followed by b. Paypal starts with p, followed by a. Such properties of each site’s name can be incorporated into our password base, and that will make each password uniquely modified for each website.
Now let’s do some password mixing! How about incorporating the first 2 letters of each website into our dog@dog base?
Or incorporating the dog@dog base with the first 2 letters and a number of letters of the website’s name. (Ebay has 4 letters, Paypal has 6)
Again, the important thing is to decide what attributes of the URL you want to use, where you will position them in your base, and to use your system consistently across the Internet. Once you are comfortable with your system, you will be able to reconstruct your passwords on the go.
It’s that easy. You do the mixing, you decide on a system.