The average person has around 20 online accounts that are protected by passwords, of which a good half could be in use on a daily basis. Remembering them all is difficult enough — it sure doesn’t help that we are made to frequently change and complex-ify them for security reasons.
For those who do not even have sufficient memory space to accommodate phone numbers and birthdays, keeping track of lengthy passwords is a superhuman feat.
And if you’ve ever flipped out over that “Invalid password” pop-up on your computer screen, we know you’d love to find out how to make logging-in a breeze. Try one of these:
1. Break your password into parts
Mark Burnett, author of Perfect Passwords, says that the best passwords consist of a few parts — words, prefixes, spelled-out numbers. Good examples: bluebananas and skyisfalling. “They’re easy to remember, and when you’re prompted to switch your password, you can just swap out one chunk,” he says. Here’s another example: foursaltypeanuts can be changed to foursaltycashews.
2. Devise a personal password algorithm
Have no fear — you don’t have to be a computer science graduate to do this. An algorithm is simply a set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations.
Here’s an example: Choose a simple phrase that you can easily remember, such as charkwayteow, then replace each letter with the letter that sits next to it on the computer keyboard. In this case, charkwayteow will become vjstlesuyrpe. Voila! A password that's indecipherable yet you can figure out easily just by looking at your keyboard. No one else would be able to guess it.
3. Use a password manager
Not only can these programs keep track of your passwords, they even pick out the weak and duplicate ones and suggest better replacements. Some of them can also sync across all your devices and allow you to authenticate access with your thumbprint on iOS or Android. Check out PC Mag’s recommendation of the best password managers.