Simplifying Pins and Passwords

For centuries mankind has tried to figure out ways to protect or lock up valuable items and information. We use a variety of locks as well as multiple other ways to protect what is considered important. The ever changing world has forced us to developed new ways to protect our homes and businesses. And now, for our electronic security, we need to “remember” passwords and pin numbers.

Pin Number Protecting
Have you ever forgotten a pin number you needed when trying to use a credit card or a debit card? Have you ever forgotten a password that is needed for a computer, document, or any number of other electronic items? Are you one of those people who need to change your password(s) often and use the unsecured way of remembering a password, the piece of paper you wrote it on that is hidden in your wallet, desk drawer, or taped to the bottom of your keyboard, because you believe no one else could possibly want it or find it. Another favorite place no one would look is on the back of that favorite family or pet photo frame that is on your desk.

Passwords and pin numbers has become part of our everyday life. Stealing those passwords or pin numbers have become a way of life for the thieves of the world. Once they have your information they can change it to what they want and lock you out of your own life. We have all read stories on how individuals have put electronic devices on ATM machines to capture our private information. Articles come out daily that warn us about phishing and pharming schemes that prompt us to provide our personnel information.

Only you can thwart giving the thieves this private information. How do you do this and still remember that password People have been asked to remember multiple passwords and pin numbers without writing them down.

If you can remember as little as three words or numbers you can secure anything with a password or pin number. Depending upon how much security is needed, you will need only a few words to develop the level of security you wish to assign to protect your files.

First let us look at pin numbers. Most pin numbers are either three, four, or five number long. Experts warn never to use your birthday as a pin number. Let us look at how two dates can protect us and make it easy for two people to remember them.

Use two sets of numbers that are not birthdates, anniversaries, or common dates that could be traced back to be common to you or your family. As an example take these two dates, 1-21-1858 and 7-5-1858.
The people who are required to know the combination for locks, pin numbers, or other related security could use something similar to the following. A three digit lock like a suitcase we share, and is mostly filled with her clothes and her other items, could be set to 121. A four digit lock or pin number that needs high security like a cash card, in room hotel safe, etc. could be set to 7558. In rare occasions where a 5 digit pin is needed for home security and other high security places, this could be set to 12158. Remember all parties need to know the codes for all items without really trying to remember. If you have multiple items or places to protect, like credit cards and do not want the same number, just reverse the numbers. You then only have to remember the two dates just understand the security level you are protecting. This does not have to be a date; it can be any shared number like a phone number. Do not use your home, cell or work phone numbers, but you could use a number that is out of the area that you both call. 312 555 6999. Three digits 312, four digits 6999, or five digits 31255.

Passwords made easy

Passwords have become a part of our life. How do we remember all these passwords? I have over 18 passwords that I use but only two ever changed. How do you remember what password you assigned where without compromising the security you are trying to provide? Before going on I want to relay one of the most common mistakes I have seen and that is to use the password you created as the hint or to use the public information as the hint. What is your mothers maiden name, What is your dogs name, Name of your high school, etc. As if someone can not go on line and get this making your security efforts nearly useless.

Using a word and adding a combination of numbers and letters will give you levels of security that will frustrate all but the best programs and people without taxing your patience or memory. Take any word or three words that you wish. Most of this can be accomplished with the use of one word allowing for one hint that has variations. For this purpose let us use the word mermaid. Since most passwords, especially the secure ones, are case sensitive you can easily adapt this to your own needs but for this article I will keep it simple.

Opening your computer at home you can type in mermaid or MERMAID. Opening your bank records or other credit or personal information I would high recommend the following. Mermaid,77ac77. Security expert recommend using a comma in all passwords. Below are different levels of security making it easy to remember what level you desired to assign to what you are protecting. Use mermaid mermaid,8 mermaid,88 mermaid,ac mermaid,8888 mermaid,ac8888 for different levels of protection.

I will now show you how to put your sticky notes out in the open and really confuse the people who might wish to steal your password and protection information. How do you give yourself a hint of what your password might be? Most of you will remember the passwords you have assigned yourself but when you need a hint or are required to give a hint for security purposes, your hint can be, woman, creature, fish, and ocean. Use the same hint every time but use something that means something only to you and or the person sharing the password. Remembering the security levels is just as easy. If I write something down I use these types of hints knowing that a comma will always follow my password. For secure items, I never hint at this. Use woman, woman–, woman–ll, woman—,woman–ll– The dashes represent the numbers I have assigned and the ll represent if I used letters in the password and where.

By utilizing three or less words to protect yourself and your information changing their value from simple to high you might have 5 or more passwords and not have to struggle with remembering what they are. This should make how to protect your data a little more simplified and a little more secure for you and your family.

Al Cameron