So what do we do? Well - typically, we first think of our pets. Surely - no one will think that Sparky or Frankie for all my bank passwords, right? (or your child's name, or 13579, or....)
It's ludicrous to imagine that we could create secure passwords - to include digits, characters, and letters - like any IT department will beg you to do. But - as I've got one foot in that world, I understand why. We're interested in keeping your information safe - and, keeping our network safe from your not-so-secure password.
Here's a tip that I share with students - that gives you passwords that are all secure, all different, and all simple to remember. Ready?
First, let's put parenths around every password (or you could use asterisks, brackets, etc). Next, let's start with the first threeletters of our last name. Then, the first three letters of the service I'm logging into, in all caps. Lastly, pick a year - or just a series of numbers that will never change. Got it? Sounds complicated, but...
If I log into yahoo! mail? My password is (mueYAH1971). Or, my password for Amazon is (mueAMA1971). See the pattern? This typically adheres to any website's security demands for accounts, yet I still have a pattern that I can remember. Is it perfect? No password really is. But it beats "Sparky" (sorry Sparky).
I'm browsing the 'net without headaches, and no longer attaching post-its to my monitor, defeating the purpose of passwords in the first place.
Hope this tech tip's a great start. Feel free to offer your own by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.