Passwords can be the bane of everyone’s work and home lives. Nearly every system requires a password, has their own rules about what can be used as a password and then there is the recommendations about not using the same one for multiple things! How are you ever supposed to come up with ones that you’ll remember when needed?

What makes a good password?

There are so many rules within passwords themselves. Some systems request numbers and letters, some want a combination of upper and lower case letters in addition to numbers, and then there is the rule set of using characters as well as letters and numbers.

So what makes a good password? Something that you’d hopefully remember that would be difficult to guess.

What should you avoid using?

You should avoid using any personal details that would easy to find out (such as pets names and your date of birth) or consecutive numbers and letters.

For me personally, I wouldn’t use Billy1980 as it’s easy to find those details out about me; nor would I use abcd1234 as it’s an easy password to guess. I do try to use characters within my passwords as often as possible as it, however, I try to do it in a way that makes sense to me when I would use them. However, as XKCD points out, that method does have its flaws.

XKCD: Password Strength

What are some ways to memorise passwords?

The main thing I would recommend in terms of remembering passwords is to not have it easily accessible in the case someone else might stumble upon it, so definitely no sticking it to the side of your monitor or anything like that!

Longer passwords are better, even if it’s less complicated. It’s easier to remember several words than where did I use a number or a character.

However, there are easier methods again to remember your passwords.

Yes, there are apps that do that!

Probably the best way in keeping track of multiple passwords is to use a digital wallet/password manager. Some of the ones that I know many VAs use include:

  • LastPass
  • 1Password
  • Dashlane
  • MySocialCloud

Find one that works for you and is well reviewed. Last thing you want to do is use a new form of manager which actually has security flaws in it!

Other advice for passwords

Do not over complicate things for yourself. While using the same password over all systems isn’t advisable, having several passwords the same isn’t too bad. And regularly change passwords (if you haven’t changed your password in years, now is the time to do it!).

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