My Ultimate Password How To

I always thought I had a pretty good default password (first mistake).  It consisted of letters and numbers, and I thought I was pretty clever.  Then I started working in IT, and creating passwords for servers and firewalls, not to mention the passwords I create for my blogs and websites.  So many different passwords to create, and I want to be able to REMEMBER the passwords I create, so I had to come up with a system where I could use real words that would end up being unrecognizable as words to people trying to crack my password.

Good passwords include ALL of the following:

  • At least 14 characters in length
  • Use of upper & lowercase letters
  • Use of numbers
  • Use of special characters

Creating a complex password though can be hard… here are a couple of ways to do it.

1. Think of a sentence and take the first letter of each word.  Change vowels to special characters (3 for E, 1 or ! for an I, etc), capitalize anything on one side of the keyboard, lowercase the other.

2. Think of a long word or phrase.  Change vowels to special characters, capitalize anything on one side of the keyboard, lowercase the other.

Once you’ve got your P@ssw0rd all set go to Microsoft’s Password Checker tool, and see if yours passes the test!

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website


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  • Is it ok to have the same password for everything, if it’s chosen according to these guidelines?

  • The short answer is no, you shouldn’t have the same password for everything because once one gets hacked they would have everything else…

    That being said I have the same password for different “groups” in my life, and different ones for different parts of my blogs and websites, because those are more likely to get hacked. So for my database there is one password, for my login to my domain is a different password, to login to my wordpress is yet another password, for my banking (all banking like credit card logins, bank account, etc) is another password, it’s tough I know, but piece of mind is nice.