How To Create Strong Passwords…And Remember Them


In today’s online world, having a strong password is a must. However, the problem with strong passwords is that they can be difficult to remember.

Altering the passwords you currently use by adding a meaningful symbol is one step toward making them difficult for Internet thieves to crack. Here is a list of symbols, some suggested uses, and some examples of how to incorporate them into your passwords:

! excitement, strong emotion
@ the letter A, the word “at”
# number, pound, tic-tac-toe
$ money, value, the letter S
% a part of something
^ raised eyebrow, upside down V
& the word “and”, this and that, twins
( the letter c, the moon
) the moon; anything lunar; crazy
* sunny, bright, starry
+ adding one thing to another
= balance, equanimity, this equals that
< this is less than that, this is younger than that
> this is greater than that, this is older than that
? unknown, variable, questionable
~ water, wind

Here are three examples. When you see the symbol in them, reference the above list to see how it is used.

First example:

1. Your 1st born daughter’s initials are JLM
2. She was born in 1987
3. She has a sunny and bright disposition

Potential password: *1stJ87lm>

Second example:

1. You are a twin
2. Your initials are ABO
3. Your twin’s initials are STO
4. The last two digits of your Social Security Number are: 58

Potential password: Abo58&Sto

Third example:

1. Your oldest child’s initials are MWP
2. Your next oldest child’s initials are SEP
3. They were born in 1981 and 1983, respectively

Potential password: Mwp81>83Sep

Here are six more tips for strong passwords:>

* Spell letters phonetically: the initials ABO can become AyBeeOh
* Use both upper and lower case letters
* Use at least one number
* Do not begin or end the password with a number
* Make the password at least eight characters
* Practice your new password in your word processor; get it to flow smoothly off your fingers

I strongly suggest that you stop everything, go, right now, and change your banking and any financially sensitive passwords. Other types of passwords can wait. Do it now, before you forget.

Author –Do you have a specific accounting or QuickBooks problem? Would you like to see an article written about it? Jennifer A. Thieme invites you to contact her today with your accounting or QuickBooks article suggestion. Resolving accounting or QuickBooks issues is her specialty.Email her today to receive a free initial consultation, free QuickBooks software trial, and a free payroll processing quote.She’s the owner of Solid Rock Accounting Services and has been in the bookkeeping, income tax, and payroll business for nine years. She’s a Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor, and a Registered Tax Preparer. Her clients receive QuickBooks training, general bookkeeping, income tax, and/or payroll processing services.

Filed under Computer How-To by  #

Comments on How To Create Strong Passwords…And Remember Them Leave a Comment

June 20, 2007

Sang @ 4:55 am #

I use the first letter of a each word in a favourite song or phrase to create my passwords. I find it a lot easier to remember, and the password is pretty strong if I throw in some number with the # symbol. For instance, if your birthday is on the 18th of some month, you can use the Happy Birthday song


Osvaldo @ 4:27 pm #

Hello. I would like to translate this article to spanish and publish on my website. Of course i´ll give the credits to you. If you agree, you can let me know by email.


June 24, 2007

Lorin @ 4:15 pm #

A great tip that was given to me is to create a sentence, something that is grammatically correct but makes no sense, such as Lewis Carol's "Twas brillig and the slithy tothes". Here it is translated into a password: tw$brLLg&$1th3. I didn't finish the sentence, as you can see, and misspelled some words.

See if you can figure this one out: o$hnS@0^a$33t

(Ocean sat on a seat).

July 3, 2007

chris @ 10:20 am #

I use some of the items you're talking about there, but I incorporate "leet" into my passwords. I pick a word that has power for me, then use a simple substitution cipher – 1 for I, 3 for E, 4 for A, 7 for T, 0 for O. I sprinkle these substitutions throughout the word, add some capitalizations, then add symbols to start and finish of the pwd. For example, I could say password as a password, but change it to P4ssW0rd07! I'll need to type it out a few times before it really sinks in, but once it's there, it's great! Since it's a word that has meaning for me, that is easy to remember I just have to spend some time remembering the substitutions.

November 12, 2008

sunquick @ 11:03 pm #

Thank you for the great tip !

February 4, 2010

jill schlueter @ 6:14 pm #

I LOVE YOU MAN! My "savior" went from Mac to this PC cr@p and finding it hard to get around. Hard to teach old doggies new tricks!

July 30, 2010

david @ 9:22 am #

I would highly recommend using a password manager like the open source KeePass Password Safe. It will securely encrypt your passwords, you can organize by category, search through all of them, etc. Each entry has places for title, username, password (and a meter showing password strength + a password generator), URL, and notes. It has many other features, too.

March 14, 2011

fever18 @ 8:04 am #

Very nice ! Thanks for sharing.

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