Approaches to Passwords

Yes, passwords are a pain, but we’re stuck with them until we all get some great biometric solution. When that day comes—when we all can log into anything anywhere with our face, retina, voice, fingerprint, or whatever—passwords will still be important as an alternative access to our accounts. Even if some program is remembering your passwords for you … know them and/or record them. (This includes email passwords!) Treat your passwords like the keys to your car: keep them safe, don’t lose them, and don’t expect to get anywhere without them.

With that in mind, here is a brief password refresher.

  • Avoid recycling passwords … if one site gets breached, all your logins would be compromised
  • Don’t use simple passwords like “Password123” or “Bailey1!”
    • Longer/random passwords are better, but human memory is fallible, so record your passwords in a book or an encrypted password app
    • Most passwords are breached by online hackers; the chance they have access to your password book is low, so write them down
    • Any good password app (local or online) will keep your passwords in an encrypted form, so is very unlikely to be breached
  • If you don’t have quick and easy access to a password book or an app, or even if you do, consider using a password method like the Dana-Marie Password Method

Google the Dana-Marie Password Method for the details, but basically it is a memorable pattern you use for all your passwords. Her method is best explained with examples; the two she uses are acaTon1963? and ccaTic1963? which break down as follows:

  • first letter = a for amazon (example 1) or c for cbcmusic (example 2)
  • next 3 letters = your master password key (caT in these examples)
  • next 2 letters = on for amazon or ic for cbcmusic (last 2 letters of site)
  • next 4 digits = your chosen number (1963 in these examples)
  • final character = your special character (? in these examples)

Of course, adjust this method for your own use: choose your own master password key/number/character, number of letters/numbers/characters, and even pattern.

All of this is to avoid being hacked and to avoid needing to reset your password. It is still very important to register a current email address and/or phone number with each account so you can reset your password if necessary.