Flying home from the annual consignment, resale, and thrift industry Conference I had a few hours in Atlanta so I checked my email, Sharing on TGtbT.com, and so on, blithely spewing all my passwords throughout the airport. When I got home, I knew I had to change each and every one.
But to what? What would be easy to remember and yet hard to hack? I knew my dog’s name and my phone number were out (not to mention I don’t have a dog and I never remember my phone number) so I did some research.
- Your passwords should be a mix of lower case and capital, letters and numbers
- Ideally, they should be 14 characters or longer (ouch!)
- Use symbols like #&%#@*! (reminds me of cussing politely)
- No real words. So now I have to make up my own words too? Wonder if octo-dachshund would be a good one? Wonder if I’ll remember how to spell dachshund?
After much pondering, I come up with a couple and test them to see if they’re “strong.”
Great! They work! Now to use them. Oops. Not supposed to use the same password over and over again. Darn. Or rather #&%#@*!
Ah, here’s the trick. Pass PHRASES. And a nice helpful geek to explain it.
WARNING WARNING WARNING!!!! Do not use a song lyric unless you ADORE having that nagging music in your head all day long. Trust me: Find me an empty lap, fellas is a really lousy pass phrase.
Okay, done, got umpteen million pass phrases I can remember. Now the trick is, of course, which phrase goes with which site. And turns out, it’s best to change passwords often. So I have to go through this routine every month or so. Sigh. Makes one long for retina scanning.