Let’s Play the Password Game
With all the brouhaha over the Heartbleed Bug and other known and unknown threats, about the only think you can do is make sure you’re using nothing but strong passwords — and change them frequently. Yes, it’s a hassle, but no nearly as big of hassle as having your bank account cleaned out or your identity stolen.
And don’t even think about paying good money to use something like LifeLock to protect you. If you think of the billions of dollars they rake in, they have very little to lose by guaranteeing you they’ll pay your a million dollar if someone steals your identity. That’s like us telling you that if you create passwords by using the information in this article and your accounts are compromised, we’ll send you five cents. Even though we don’t have much money, we would never go broke making this guarantee. So don’t waste your money by using a service like LifeLock. Create strong passwords, change them frequently, don’t fall for Internet and telephone scams and always be wary when dealing with sites you don’t know.
We’ve beaten you over the head so many times trying to get you all to use a password manager (and we recommend LastPass, it’s free, it works and it does everything a password manager should do). But alas, no matter how many times we tell you to use a good password manager, you don’t and you probably won’t.
So for those of you who want to make strong passwords but still want to remember them, here’s something to try.
Let’s play the password game. OK your dogs name is Mookie and she’s 8 years old. You could make a password like luvmyM00Kl38. Just use zeros for the letter o’s and a small letter L for the letter i in the name Mookie and the number 8. It’s a strong password; according to How Secure Is My Password, it would take a hacker equipped with the fastest password cracking software in the world (software that can guess billions of passwords in less than a second) 25,000 years to crack it.
You can take any word with an S, I, E, O, and change letters to number or change the case to make a password you can easily remember. You can use your imagination too. $U$AN$C0RV3TT3 is Susan’s Corvette. It would take a hacker 2 billion years for a hacker to crack that.
lAMlNMissouri 48 — (l AM lN Missouri 48 – Your state and your age.) 27 trillion years to crack
B0ST0N$AIIY42 (Boston Sally 42 your city, name, and age) 125,000 years to crack
Ml$T3R*JAM3$ (Mister James) 344,000 years to crack
Well you get the idea. An remember, never use the same password for every site. You can easily remember your passwords by making a list of “hints”(not your full passwords) like My State, My Car, My City, Name, and so on. Anyone having access to that list would have no idea what your passwords were, but you.
You can play the password game with lots of words and combinations of words, symbols, and numbers that are familiar to you, yet when changed using the password game and make strong passwords that you can actually remember.
Still, we’re going to put in another plug for password managers. Passwords, strong passwords, are the only thing standing between you and criminals and hackers. Password managers like LastPass can generate and remember extremely long passwords in less than a second, they can remember them for you, and automatically fill in logins for you on site that require you to log in.