Is a password really that useful if you can’t remember it? We have the tricks you can use to make yours both memorable and secure.
“Password,” “Qwerty,” “12345”—it’s time to kick these easy-to-guess passwords to the kerb and opt for ones that truly do their job. In our increasingly digital world, we entrust personal and sensitive information to countless online platforms, apps, sites, etc., so creating a strong and unique password for each is vital to protecting our digital lives.
Using complex, long passwords is the first line of cybersecurity defence (something our Norton Password Generator can help with), but the challenge lies in making these passwords easy to remember as well as secure. Fortunately, with a little practice and some clever tricks, you can come up with a memorable yet secure password any time you need one. Let’s delve into the art of crafting robust—but unforgettable—passwords to strengthen your cybersecurity defences once and for all.
Why use secure passwords?
Before getting into the tricks, we should briefly recap why strong passwords are essential. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are smart: they use skilful techniques to crack passwords and turn your life upside down. Putting a strong password in place helps in the following ways:
It can helpavoid identity theft: If a thief gets into one account, they may be able to gain access to others—especially if you’re a serial password re-user. Once they’re in, they may be able to steal important information like your full name, address, and other personal details, which they can use to impersonate you, and even recover or change other passwords.
It helps protect against account takeover: A weak password makes it easier for a cybercriminal to sneak into your accounts and message your friends, family, or colleagues. Then they’ll likely ask them for money or scam them out of their own private information.
It can help protect your finances: While there are federal protections for unauthorised transactions, a hacker getting into your bank account is about as fun as a root canal. Maintaining a strong password for your banking platforms may save you money and headaches in the long run.
The tricks to creating secure and memorable passwords
The simplest way to help stave off cybercriminals is to avoid using real words, names, addresses, and phone numbers in your passwords—but not everyone can memorise a random assortment of characters. Here are a few creative tricks to help generate a password that you can remember, but that is also uncommon enough to hack.
Is it long? Yes. But is it something you will remember? Yes. And this one might just make you smile when you use it. Use upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to create a phrase that’s pulled from a happy memory; something you know you can’t forget. Your honeymoon becomes “SantoriniCruise2017Honeymoon!” or the weekend getaway you’re looking forward to becomes “NapaWineryTour2024Cali4nia.” Complex enough to not be guessed, even if that information is floating around on social media.
Put those foreign language skills to good use, and mix different languages and characters into your password. "Bonjour" can become "B0nj0ur!," “Ciao Bella” can become “C!@0 B3lla.” The possibilities are endless, which makes it even more difficult for cybercriminals to figure out.
Think of two of your favourite things that have nothing to do with each other, and pair those up to be a weird but highly unguessable password. You love motorcycles and puzzles? Voila! Your password could be as simple as M0torcyclePuzzle$. Maybe you’re more into spicy foods and your 16-inch pet snake, Ralph? Let Ralph shine without the worry of someone being able to crack your password easily and use “$picyRalph16.” Combining some of your favourite things that aren’t commonly linked adds complexity to passwords you may have already been using.
A little bonus trick—use a password manager
While it might not be the most trick-like or creative on our list, a password manager is another reliable option when opting for strong password protection.
Many of our plans feature Password Manager, which houses your passwords, as well as other information, in one location, with one master password. There are many benefits to using a password manager, including:
It does the work of creating the complicated passwords you need to help protect your online accounts for you. Like your own personal password assistant.
All you need to remember is one password—the one for the password manager. If you can remember your national insurance number or childhood phone number, we think you’ll do just fine remembering one unique password.
Lastly, our password manager offers an added layer of protection with two-factor authentication. Each time you try to log in, a one-time verification code is sent to your mobile phone, and you must enter the verification code to be able to access your passwords. Extra secure while being simple to use.
Give it a go
Whether opting for a tool like Password Manager or concocting a complex password using our other tricks, you now have what you need to keep cybercriminals out of your digital life. By combining randomness, creativity, and memorability, you can fortify your online security while preserving your own peace of mind. Your digital safety is in your hands—$tayPr0tect3d!
Clare Stouffer, a Gen employee, is a writer and editor for the company’s blogs. She covers various topics in cybersecurity.
Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc.