Fool­proof P@s$words

Here’s how to cre­ate se­cure lo­gins that you’ll never for­get. They will keep your cash and your de­tails safe from cy­berthieves

Good Housekeeping (South Africa) - - T R AV E L -

START HERE

1Choose a phrase or sen­tence with at least 10 words (or a mix of words and num­bers) that’s mem­o­rable for you. It might be a song lyric or a book pas­sage. As an ex­am­ple, let’s say you come up with the sen­tence be­low:

NEXT…

2Up­per-case the first let­ter of each word. Now you have MDSAKCI2006. Re­place a few of the let­ters with sym­bols or num­bers. So the let­ter S can be­come $, and the A can be­come @. Then it reads MD$@KCI2006.

FI­NALLY…

3Lower-case one or two of the up­per-case let­ters where you think it makes the most sense (so D could be­come d), mak­ing the pass­word Md$@KCi2006. This way, your pass­word is not only se­cure but should also fit any web­site’s pass­word re­quire­ments. Now you have a pass­word that’s tough to crack – hooray! But for safety rea­sons you should not use the ex­act same pass­word for ev­ery web­site. Next, it’s a good idea to…

CUS­TOMISE YOUR PASS­WORDS

Take let­ters from the web­site URL you’re us­ing and add them to the ba­sic pass­word you just cre­ated. You could use the first two and last two let­ters of the name of the site. For su­per­bal­ist. com, for in­stance, take the first two and last two let­ters of the URL: SU and ST. Put them on ei­ther side of your pass­word. You’ll get: SUMd$@ KCi2006ST. All you re­ally have to re­mem­ber is your base pass­word, be­cause it’s the foun­da­tion for all of them.

DO THE SAME FOR ALL YOUR WEB­SITES

For gmail.com, take the GM and IL and add them to your root pass­word, giv­ing you: GMMd$@ KCi2006IL. For face­book.com your pass­word be­comes FAMd $@KCi2006OK, and so on. That’s it! Now you have a dif­fer­ent pass­word for ev­ery site that’s easy to re­call. So take 20 min­utes to redo your cur­rent pass­words and you can log on with con­fi­dence. Still wor­ried you won’t re­mem­ber? Read on for what to do.

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