September 26, 2019

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Avoid Password Purgatory

September 26, 2019

 You created the password to the online account years ago when life was different. It was 2003, a time when Boy Bands roamed the earth, and you and your pet Bichon Frise, Sniffles, lived footloose and fancy-free. 

 

You didn't need to remember your passwords! Modern technology allowed you to "Save" your passwords. The websites knew you, they remembered you. You navigated to and fro across the internet with ease.

 

Then came the new computer, the new IP address, the new phone, the hard reset. And just like the boy band craze, the memory of your password went "Bye, Bye, Bye". 

 

You tried, oh boy, did you try. 

"Sniffles2003"

"Sniffles03"

"JustinTimberlake2003"

 

But to no avail. Time for the password reset.

 

A fair number of my clients have to do a password reset when Wilson Digital Marketing tries to connect their accounts. It's almost a dance we perform, the steps to which I'm all too familiar. 

 

Password denied.

Password denied.

Password denied.

Too many login attempts.

 ... and finally.

"Forgot your password? Click here."

 

Perhaps the most frustrating part is that the person then submits an equally forgettable password only to set the stage for the process again.

 

The solution? One password TO RULE THEM ALL.

 

But one does not simply walk into a good password. It must be forged.

 

But how does one create a password that is unique, secure AS WELL AS memorable. The thought is as elusive as the Holy Grail or a guilt-free cheesecake. 

 

The secret is the PASSWORD FORMULA.

 

Most sites have a password policy, or a series of numbers, letters or symbols you must include in your password before your login information will be accepted by the system. While each site has it's own guidelines, it's best to create a formula that will work across any website including those with very specific password policies. 

 

Side note: I don't advocate using the same password for every site. My passwords vary based on the website or company I am using. I memorized the formula which allows me to have thousands of passwords within my recall. 

 

You want to create both constants and variables within your formula. Here are some ideas for components of your password.

 

Constants (I don't advise using information that is easily discovered):

Year you first attended elementary school

Street you grew up on

Date of first date

Year of First Car

Specific phrase or adage

 

Variables:

Partial or Full Name of Website or Company

Number of letters within the website URL

Number of words in company name

Numbers that correspond to letters in the company name (e.g. A=1, Z=26)

 

Special Symbols:

Use $ instead of "S" in a word

Add an "!" after the company name

Use a "#" or a "#!" at the end of the password

 

Also, capitalize the first or last letter of the password. 

 

For example:

 

Your wedding date + first two letters of company name + special symbol + number of letters in company website url + your name spelled backward = Your password

 

For Nike.com

93NI#!4eimaj

 

You've ticked the boxes for most password policies and your password is unique to that site.

 

So pop in that scratched CD of your favorite boy band and reminisce while you level up your password game! 

 

And, as always, call Wilson Digital Marketing for all your digital marketing needs!

 

Here are some other websites that offer tips on secure passwords:

https://www.connectsafely.org/passwords/

http://mentalfloss.com/article/504786/8-tips-make-your-passwords-strong-possible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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