With our increase use of logins for sites and applications, do you have the frustrations of forgetting your passwords? And in an effort to not forget your passwords, you use simple words such as your son’s birth-date, your dog’s name, your spouse’s last name, or anything that will give you a clue to remembering your password, etc?

Such passwords can allow a curious hacker to easily obtain your passwords without even resorting to any specialized tools because a hacker can discover your basic personal information, such as, children’s names, birth-dates, pets names, etc. and try all of these as potential passwords.

To create a secure password that is easy for you to remember, you may want to follow these simple steps:

Do Not Use Personal Information

You should never use personal information as a part of your password. It will be very for someone to guess it. Examples of personal information are your last name, child’s birth date, your pet’s name and other similar details.

Do Not Use Real Words

There are many tools available to help hackers guess your password. With today’s computing power, it will not take long to try every word in the dictionary. If you were to use real words as your password, it would not take long for your password to be broken using these tools, so it is best if you do not use real words for your password.

Mix Different Character Types

You can make a password much more secure by mixing different types of characters. For example, using some uppercase letters along with lowercase letters, numbers and even special characters such as ‘&’ or ‘%’.

Use a Passphrase

Rather than trying to remember a password created using random characters, you can use a passphrase. Think up a sentence or a line from a song or poem that you like and create a password using the first letter from each word. For example, rather than just having a password using random characters such as ‘hfo3U4*9S’, you could take a sentence such as “I would like to remember passwords using passphrase for added security and variety” and convert it to a password like “IwL2rpuP4as&V”. By substituting the number ‘2’ for the word ‘to’, ‘4’ for the word ‘for’ and ‘&’ for the word ‘and’, you can use a variety of character types and create a secure password that is hard to crack, but much easier for you to remember.

Use a Password Management Tool

Another way to store and remember passwords securely is to use a password management tool. These tools maintain a list of usernames and passwords in encrypted form. Some will even assist  to automatically fill in the username and password information on sites and applications.

Use Different Passwords

You should use a different username and password for each login or application you are trying to protect. That way if one gets compromised the others are still safe. Another approach, which is less secure, but provides a fair tradeoff between security and convenience, is to use the same username but different passwords for different sites and applications. For your bank and credit card logins, you should use unique usernames and more secure passwords.

Change your Passwords

You should change your password at least every 90 days and should not re-use a password for at least a year.

On a final note, enforce stronger passwords for better security. You may apply one or more of the above suggested tips to help you create passwords that are more secure.