Use this Secure, Reliable Strategy for Making Unique Passwords

Last Updated Mar 30, 2010 12:19 PM EDT

We know that your password is not 123456 -- you're smarter than that (even though there's compelling evidence that most people are not). But even if you cook up a strong Microsoft-approved password, it's important to ensure that you use a unique password on every Web site. Otherwise, a compromised social networking site could be the gateway to your bank account, for example.

That's potentially a lot of work, but I've found a simple system you can rely on to make this task easy.


Recently, Digital Inspiration proposed a simple system you can use to create a strong password based on the name of the Web site you're creating an account for. Just make your own version of this grid and print it out:


To make your password, spell out the first five letters of the site's name using this grid. If you want to create a password for Amazon:

1st letter is a: a
2nd letter is m: jv
3rd letter is a: AN6
4th letter is z: xs7
5th letter is o: enb

Your password at Amazon is ajvAN6xs7enb.
Of course, you'll want to use a password keeper of some sort so you don't have to re-enter that password from scratch each time.

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