Go Tripod

Tip: Creating stronger passwords

Mon Apr 23 2007

In this day and age we often get asked for passwords to secure our content or personal information. Many people find if difficult to come up with memorable passwords and popular choices are things like the day of the week when they set it or literally the word “password”! So, I though I would share my way of coming up with a memorable password that appears to be a random string of characters

For this method you need to come up with a phrase of several words. This may be relevant to a particular the site or company or personal to you in some way, it could be some lyrics to a song or poem or a private thought etc. For an example I will use the following well known line from a nursery rhyme:

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pale of water”

We can easily turn this into a memorable password by using the first letters, so in the above case, we get:


Already, we have a 13 character password. However, we can make this stronger still, by using other common techniques, for example swapping words that sound like numbers for their corresponding number. i.e. to = 2 or for = 4. So with the above example, we get:


We can also add in symbols (where supported). For example we could swap and for + or &. So again with the example above we end up with:


Remembering the phrase and the simple substitution rules for numbers and symbols provides us with a good strengthen password. Obviously we still should use different passwords for different sites and it is also wise to have a phrase that isn’t obviously related to a particular site.

Got an idea for a project?

Need a website? Web-enabled software to streamline your business? Just some advice?