Create A Different Password For Every Site And Never Forget A Single One

So many logins to keep track of. You can use a handful of strong passwords across all your accounts but if somehow one gets figured out, your entire networked life could be at risk. But by creating an easy-to-remember pass phrase that uses part of the website’s name it its construction, you have a unique strong password for every account you have without ever even writing any of them down.

The password is made out of a passphrase prefix + the first three letters of the website. The root passphrase stays the same, but at every different site you register at, you add the first four letters of the website’s name to the end of the phrase.

So if your passphrase is “gatekeeper” and the website you’re registering at is “Facebook,” your password would be gatekeeperfac.” For your American Express card, “gatekeeperame” and so on.

Of course, to make a strong password, and some sites will require this as well, we want a mixture of upper and lower case letters and numbers. You could end up with lKsafBd983 but that’s not very easy to remember.

Instead, take a word or a phrase you won’t forget and convert that to an alphanumeric phrase.

For instance, “I like to tweak noses at night when I’m sad,” could become 1L2TN5D.

Combine that with the first four letters of every site you register for – 1L2TN5DFac, 1L2TN5DCon, 1L2TN5DBan and so on – and you’ve got yourself a unique strong password that you’ll never be frantically searching for that old sticky note you wrote it on to figure out.

Just remember that many sites require passwords to be at least 8 characters in length and sometimes under 10, and to never tell anyone your naming scheme.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.