How to create and remember a bullet-proof password

January 14th, 2013

1096880_63786041Security experts say that to secure your email accounts, cpanels, ftp access, facebook, just about anything and everything in your digital life is to have a bullet-proof password.

But, what on earth is “bullet-proof password”?
Well, again, going by current advice, it should be at least 8 characters long, longer the better, should have alphabets in upper and lower case, digits and special characters that you see on the keyboard above the digits… !@#$%^&*().

Yesterday, while talking to my client, the award-winning journalist, Zubeida Mustafa, I had my aha moment. But, let me tell you here, that I am not talking about a teen or a 20-something geek. She is a senior citizen, started her career when computers did exist and has seen more technology transformation then probably we will see in our lives.

We are discussing her website and I needed her password to check something. To be honest, I expected to be the typical stuff like a mix of her date of birth and city of residence, her some keywords related to her passion of education and women’s rights, or perhaps names of her kids, or something like that.

But to my utter surprise, this senior citizen has a 10 character password that follows almost all of the current advice on how to create a bullet-proof password.

I could not hide my shock and asked her how does she remember something so complex. She laughed and explained the formula behind it:

Its the abbreviations from a sentence peppered with some digits. It also has some letters in lowercase while other in upper case. And surprise surprise, she even has a logic behind which letters should be upper-case.

She advised that think of a sentence that is dear to you. So, your can be a favorite quotation, the name of a book or movie, a phrase from your holy book, something that you or your parent repeats often to the kids, etc.

Then decide whether to keep all of them in lowercase or uppercase.

Next, you inverse the case of the letter that follows a vowel.

Next, you think of a number that is easy to remember and insert it within this at a logical break.

And, lastly, may I add that you should have one or more special character. Decide where to have one or two of them. For instance, before the digits, after the digits, or at the end.

You have a perfect bullet-proof password that is impossible to forget.

One of my favorite quotes is “Not Gold, but only men can make a nation great and strong” and lets take the digit 2 and the special character $. So the password will be:


Is this 14-character password challenging? You bet. But is that difficult to remember? Nope.

What advice can you share?

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