/ Passwords

Create and remember a strong password

I've actually written a blog about passwords plenty of times before, from how they aren't enough and how to master all of them easily with a password manager. But when I get inspired to write a blog I go with it and I just did a few hours ago. So here is a third one for you.

Making a strong password can be quite straightforward when you generate it, however remember such a password isn't. That's where a password manager comes into play like Lastpass or Keepass. But a password manager requires you to have a master password to unlock the database in which reside all of the passwords you use. This master password should be a very strong password but also something you can remember.

This short blogpost is about the generating the master password by hand and
making sure you remember it. Of course you can use this password for other things too like your computer account, disk encryption passphrase, etc. It's up to you.

So normally I get my inspiration for a password from a lyrics of a song, a quote from a movie or a book, even from something someone said. It could and should be anything that just sticks in your head but all of these together could end up in a password. When the time comes around again to change one of the passwords I need to remember I get out a my default text editor Vim and start with entering the words.

For this purpose let's use

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.

If you guess who said it you win a prize. No you don't, it's Albert Einstein. Anyway we now have a basic starting point. Let's start turning it into a password. Notice that we already have some special characters in there which we could opt to use (the comma and full stop).

As someone who understands programming a bit I see something I could write differently straight away. "not" could be written as "!=". Which basicly means the same and add to the special characters. "to" could also be changed to "2" instead. And "of" can be changed to "|" which I use a lot on the commandline. So taking all that into account we changed the quote into:

Strive != 2 be a success, but rather 2 be | value.

But we aren't done yet. I see some words that could be written differently. Like "be" could be changed to the insect "bee", "a" could be changed to "4" as in l33t speak. We should also add some more capital letters, so let's capitalise the "bee" to "Bee". It's a really useful insect we should be grateful of. Also "value" could be changed to "$" as in the dollar sign. The last one you can of course substitute for your own currency if you like. It is up to you to use something that you'll remember but not use something that can easily be retrieved like your birthday, address etc. The password shouldn't be impersonal but also not too personal. After the above changes we now have the following:

Strive != 2 Bee 4 success, but rather 2 Bee | $.

I'd dare say that is quite easy to remember and is quite strong, let's remove the empty spaces.

Strive!=2Bee4success,butrather2Bee|$.

There are way more steps you could take to create (spaces could be replaced with some underscores for example) an even tougher password but this will suffice for purposes and is probably the strongest password you have ever had that you CAN remember. Note that you shouldn't use the password above for anything, it's an example and I take no responsibility if you use it. I will however laugh in your face if you do.

Hopefully the above has helped you out a bit on how to create a strong password that you can remember or at least helped you think on how to create one.

You should strive to create stronger passwords in the future.