I have a confession to make.  I am “that” person who insists that your password is at least 12 characters long consisting of upper and lower case letters, special symbols, and numbers in non-sequential form.  I make sure that neither you nor anyone in your zip codes has used it ever before and if it looks like anything you could possibly remember, it’s declined.  Oh, and I force you to reset it every other day; twice while on vacation.

I can’t help it, it’s my job.  I know it can be difficult to keep track of as many passwords as we are forced to reckon with these days and I’m not without heart.  Here are a few tips I’ve collected through the years to make this endeavor easier:

  1. Choose one password for all of the “casual” websites you use like your TV guide, coupon clipper, or satellite radio stations.  By reusing the same password on all of these sites, you’re reducing the number of passwords you have to remember and if someone obtains this password, they’re not getting anything vital out of you.  These sites can sometimes be tricky either allowing or disallowing special characters so choose one that has a letter that can easily be swapped for a number or a special character just in case.  You’ll usually get more than one chance to log in, so if the basic password doesn’t work, give the alternate version a try.
  2. Select a phrase instead of a word.
    • I use this website to order groceries = !utw2OG
    • What’s for sale at Amazon today? = W4$@A2day?
    • Facebook rocks! = FBr0cks!
  3. Make your “special characters” special!
    • Use the Pipe key (|) which is the straight line above the backslash.
    • Don’t forget about the period or comma.
    • Curly or straight brackets are often overlooked.
    • Greater than/less than are great choices too.
  4. We’ve all been warned not to write passwords down, instead use one that’s already written down! (And yes, I know that you keep a list under your keyboard, phone, notepad, calendar, desk lamp, pencil holder, etc. )
    • License plate number
    • Serial number on your cell phone or other portable electronic device
  5. Remember the finger strokes.  There’s no need to remember the exact password if you select a meaningful pattern on the keyboard.  Don’t go for the 4 corners, that’s too easy.  Look at your keyboard and see how easy it would be to remember:
    • 45$%Ert
    • Zaq!147 (using the number pad)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that we already know that you use these passwords:

  1. Dates
  2. Pets names
  3. Seasons +year
  4. Favorite sports team
  5. admin
  6. password
  7. RememberMe! or RememberThis!
  8. “blank” (spelled out)

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact:

Amy Cozine

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