After hearing the story of a computer password standing in the way of a $220 million fortune, ABC13 spoke with an expert for tips on how to create unique yet easy-to-remember passwords.
The story of a programmer who has only two tries left to remember the password to open a digital wallet with 7,000 bitcoins stored on it has gained national attention.
You can have a unique yet different password that's easy to recall without having to write it down. Forensic investigator Colman Ryan has some suggestions to help you create a strong password that will be easy for you to remember, and difficult for others to crack.
First, think of two things you really like. For instance, you might choose dogs and movies.
Then, think of a number you are not likely to forget that is not your birthday.
Next, use a special character like the percent sign to link the two things and the number.
For example: DogsMovies%2020
There's one last step. When you use the password, add the website name at the end.
So if you're logging in to Facebook, the password would be, DogsMovies%2020facebook.
It may seem complex, but it's a fairly easy way to remember and a better alternative to using the same simple password for all accounts.
You're also advised to use a two-step verification that sends a code to your cell phone whenever possible.
"Just assume your password is going to be compromised," said Ryan. "Assume it is going to happen, but when you have two-step verification and or two-factor authentication turned on, even though the hacker has your password they are not going to be able to get in."
As for password apps that remember all your passwords, Ryan said if you are not paying for the service, it might not be a good idea.
It still requires you to have to change your passwords every few months, but the system can help you generate easy-to-remember passwords that are unique.