I started keeping a password list on my phone, which eventually turned into a spreadsheet. But sometimes locating and pulling up the excel file would take as much time as just resetting the password through email. So this is what led me to come up with a way to save passwords for every site, each one unique and hard to guess, and required virtually no memorization.
Here are your password options:
Memorize a unique password for every website. TOO HARD
Use the same password for every site: TOO RISKY IF I WAS HACKED
Reset my unknown password every time I want to login: TOO TIME CONSUMING
So here is what it is based on:
Every website is made up of some combination of letters and/or numbers. For example, facebook.com, or imagestudios360.com.
Each website has different security rules for your passwords. Some let you do whatever you want, some require at least one number and one special character, some require a capital letter, etc.
I broke down my formula into separate “rules”. This is where you will create a way to form a unique password for each website. The rules described below will not change for any website, so the only thing you will need to remember is the rules themselves.
(For simplicity sakes we will use facebook.com as an example)
Rule #1: DETERMINE A NUMBER: Your password should not only contain letters, but numbers in it as well to satisfy the requirements for higher security websites. Since each website has letters and/or numbers in it, each character will be “counted” and will be the “number” used in my password. For example, facebook.com has 8 letters in it (you could also count the extension, so if you did facebook.com, your character count would be 11). Either way is fine, just decide on what your rule will be, and stick to it.
Here are some more examples of counting characters (leaving off the extension) for your password:
Gmail.com – 5 characters
Instagram.com – 9 characters
Wellsfargo.com – 10 characters
So RULE #1 – character count, will be the first part of your password. Facebook.com = 8
RULE #2: Choose the starting or ending letter in your extension, and capitalize it.
For example, if the website is facebook.com, you could choose the ending letter (or starting letter) as part of your formula. For this example we will choose the last letter in the domain, which is “K”, and it will be capitalized.
So far, our password is looking like:
Facebook.com = 8K
RULE #3: Take the first two letters of the domain, and then the last two letters of the domain in reverse.
Facebook.com = fa (first two) and ko (last two), and together rule #3 = fako
Our password now looks like this:
Facebook.com = 8Kfako
RULE #4: Choose a special character
Choose a special character to use at the end of your new password formula (% $ # @ & *) – you choose whatever character you want, just be sure to use the same character every time. Lets use $ as our special character.
Our password now looks like this:
Facebook.com = 8Kfako$
(Note: some sites do not allow special characters. What I’ve done is make sure that all my passwords were set with my formula, and for those sites that don’t allow it you can leave it off. When you go to login and get an error message, the first thing you should then do it leave off the special character and try again. This way you have a fail safe way to ensure you know your password every time).
EX: facebook.com = 8Kfako$
VOILA – You know have a unique password that works with every website, every time. Never again do you have to memorize any passwords (other than your rules which you define).
You can play around with your rules to make your own unique password formula (which is recommended since everyone is reading the same rules here). Here are some other ways to make unique rules up:
Counting vowels as your first number in your password
Counting the consonants in the URL as the first number in your password
Using a special character as the first part of your password instead of the last
Using the last 3 of the website name instead of the last 2 (this will make it longer, but more secure). Note: Website such as do.com and aol.com can still be done, just keep counting the letters: For example, if you’re counting 3 letters instead of 2, do.com becomes “dod” if you are counting forward, and “odo” if you are counting backwards. If your password rule is counting 5 characters it would still work on short websites if you keep counting the characters. With 5 characters do.com then becomes “dodod” and backwards it is “ododo”.
Mix up the order of the rules:
Capitalize the last letter of the website – EX: facebook.com = “K”
Capitalize the first letter of the website – EX: facebook.com = “F”
Capitalize the last letter of the extension – EX: facebook.com = “M”
Get creative and spend a few minutes coming up with your own password formula – just remember to change every password you have so you can rely on this formula every time. I recommend making note to change passwords as you go, so you know when you encounter a website that you can’t get into you can reset the password with this new formula so over time you will eventually have a whole new password repertoire.