This week is’  Choose’  Privacy Week. To celebrate I wanted to write a post about passwords.

First, how many of you use the same password for every site you log into? Do you have the same user name as well?

I know often times we hear IT and other computer professionals tell us to never use the same password, but in reality we are often over worked, and have more important things to do with our brain cells than memorize a bunch of silly passwords (like memorize a bunch of book titles) Right?

I used to feel the same way until I read a blog post about how easy it is to guess one’s password.’  Follow the link to see how easy your password is to hack, and then check back here for tips to make your password more secure.

One of the simplest tricks I’ve heard is to establish a base password like “password” that you memorize, then add something for each site you visit. For example if you set up a password for Google you can use “passwordg”* or “googlepassword”* Making each password you set up unique, but still memorable.’  Since most websites require you to use a combination of letters and numbers you might consider including these elements in your password base. *Note Password is just an example and not a very good choice for a password base

Another tip is to use a passcard to create a truly random and secure password. This is ideal for passwords that protect sensitive information like your online banking profile, or library’s personell files. You generate a unique grid of random letters and digits that you can print out and carry in your wallet.’  To create a password, select a pattern and copy the letters and numbers from the the card as your password. This is more secure than just writing down the password, because hackers/snoops who see the card would still have about 10,000 password options to choose from the card, and they probably won’t readily know your user name.

If you want to be extremely secure, or are extremely forgetful you can use a password management add-on for your browser. Its recommended that you use a password to protect all your stored passwords, and make the password to the management software separate and unique from one your normally use to prevent it from being easily hacked.

Top Password management software are:

Lastly you can use GRC Perfect Passwords to create a 256 bit password, and store it in a password manager, for the most secure password.

Do you have any tips to share to keep your information secure?

About Jami Schwarzwalder

Currently a teen librarian with the Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA.She is passionate about technology, making, and learning. See what I'm up to at

3 Thoughts on “Privacy through Passwords

  1. My favorite trick is to use an old address – it’s easy to remember but hard to guess, and contains a combination of letters and numbers, plus it’s flexible – I can add symbols or even transpose letters with numbers or spell out numbers.

  2. I just want to remind folks that occasionally things that seem like harmless Facebook or Twitter memes can actually make your passwords vulnerable.

    Have you ever seen one of those “quizzes” that comes up with a name for you (“What’s Your Pirates of the Caribbean Name,” “Find Your Hollywood Pseudonym,” etc.) based on a couple of seemingly benign details? Anyone who asks for information like your first pet’s name, your mother’s maiden name, or the name of the first street name you lived on is actually putting you at considerable risk, because these are all pretty common security questions for recovering a forgotten password (or verifying your identity on a new computer) online, including with many online banks.

    As for keeping my information secure, I always appreciate it when creating a new online membership if the site in question has some kind of meter indicating the strength of the password I’ve chosen. (“Password123?” Weak. “dbie4Tx7?” Strong.)

  3. Lenny on June 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm said:

    What about Sticky Password manager? Great tool for managing all your password.

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