Few things in life are certain.
Except of course for death, taxes and forgetting passwords.
It's just the way it is.
Dogs bite postmen. People forget passwords.
No doubt at some point in your life you've stared blankly at a
computer screen, trying in vain to recall your password.
Your password which at the time you created it seemed so
logical, so personal, so memorable...only shortly after to
become sooooo forgettable.
And in an online world where we're increasingly required to
'create an account' and 'log in' to get things done, forgetting
passwords is mildly annoying and wastes your valuable
So what's the solution?
Well the good news is that there is a simple memory technique you can
use to create - and remember - not just one but multiple
passwords. All you need is a little imagination.
Step 1, warm-up.
Simply read through the following list of 10 objects. As you
do, picture each item clearly in your mind's eye.
Good. Now repeat the exercise, but this time picture each
object... then say the number next to it, out loud.
I'll wait while you do it...
Spot a pattern?
Yep, that's right - they rhyme.
One is gun, two is shoe, three is tree, four is door, five is hive,
six is sticks, seven is heaven, eight is gate, nine is wine,
ten is hen.
What you've just done is created a mental image for each of
the numbers from 1 to 10. You'll soon see how useful this is
when it comes to remembering passwords.
We need a celebrity...someone famous, someone you can
picture clearly in your mind. For the purpose of this article
let's choose Elvis (the famous singer, not your neighbour's
Take a moment now and picture Elvis as clearly and as vividly
as you can. What's he wearing? A white suit perhaps. What's
he carrying? Maybe an acoustic guitar.
Let's say you want to create a new password for your online
bank account, one which will be easy to remember. You simply
use the following syntax or formula -
CELEBRITY + A NUMBER FROM 1-10
So as an example, for your CELEBRITY let's use Elvis and
for your NUMBER let's choose 8, so -
Your Password = Elvis8
You now turn this into a memorable image and connect it in
some way to your bank.
How? Well number 8 rhymes with...yes that's right, GATE
So picture Elvis sitting on a gate, playing the guitar and singing.
And as this is the password for your online banking, imagine
that this is taking place outside your local bank and there's a
big crowd gathered to listen to The King croon.
You've just used a little imagination to link together 3 pieces of
information (Bank - Elvis - Gate) into one easy to remember
Let's try another.
Perhaps you're feeling lucky and you want to do some online
footy tipping. You set up an account and need a password.
Using the same formula as above you may decide on -
(Note: to make it easy to remember multiple passwords you
always use the same celebrity, just adding a different number
to make each password distinct).
That's right HEN.
So again we have 3 pieces of information to remember -
Footy - Elvis - Hen
So you think of something that reminds you of footy - the
You might imagine Elvis dressed in his white suit chasing
a hen around the MCG to the roars of the crowd, as the
chuck ducks and dives to avoid the corpulent crooner.
Or you might imagine something completely different.
It doesn't really matter what YOU come up with or how YOU
connect the information together. The key is to use YOUR
imagination and YOUR associations as these will be especially
strong and memorable for you.
So the secret formula again...
CELEBRITY + A NUMBER FROM 1-10
That's the easy way to concoct memorable passwords.
2 final points...
1) Stronger Passwords
If you follow the above formula your passwords will be reasonably
short yet still contain a mixture of letters, numbers and upper
You may want to make your passwords even stronger by
adding punctuation. A memorable way to do this is to add punctuation
at the start and the end i.e.
PUNCTUATION + CELEBRITY + NUMBER + PUNCTUATION
For example, Elvis10 may become
And so you don't have to remember lots of different punctuation
you may decide to always use the same punctuation marks at
the start and at the end.
For example -
* + CELEBRITY + NUMBER + !
2) More Than 10 Passwords?
Not a problem. Just add some colour -
* + CELEBRITY + NUMBER + COLOUR + !
For example, *Elvis10! might become
And that hen that Elvis was chasing around the MCG? Its
feathers are bright RED (yes it's a red rooster).
Better watch out that Elvis doesn't eat your password.
The Final Word: Don't make a meal of passwords. Apply the
formula, add a dash of imagination and you'll never forget a
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