In a previous article, I discussed the need to be careful about passwords and how to avoid using some of the most commonly used passwords.

This often presents a dilemma. If I choose a really good and cryptic password (lMp53!x7), will I remember it? If I choose a really bad password (iloveyou), will I become vulnerable to cyber crime?

The best solution to the problem is to use a password management system, which I will discuss in a later article. The next best solution is to create a number of passwords that you will remember but will be hard to crack.

Let’s say that your favorite film is Gone With the Wind.

First, replace the spaces with a non-alphanumeric character. Then you have:

Gone#With#the#Wind

Then capitalize the last letter of all words and not the first:

gonE#witH#thE#winD

Then pretend that the “i” key doesn’t work on your keyboard. So you are going to use “1” instead:

gonE#w1tH#thE#w1nD

Your keyboard is pretty bad. So you have to substitute your “o” with “0” (“oh” with “zero”):

g0nE#w1tH#thE#w1nD

Finally, add the birth year of your dog:

g0nE#w1tH#thE#w1nD2008

And you have a pretty strong password and a good chance of remembering it. Keep your little “rules” consistent, and you’ll be able to create a number of secure passwords that mix upper case, lower case, and non-alphanumeric characters.

And please don’t use any of the codes suggested here. Invent your own!

Not perfect! But better than your son’s name and birth year (Thomas2004). And much better than what almost everyone else does!

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