Here's a simple way to create strong, unique passwords, and to remember them

Here's a simple way to create strong, unique passwords, and to remember them

Having trouble remembering the different passwords you use for your online accounts? Use this simple technique to create as many complex combinations as you like and memorize them effortlessly!

Mail, social networks, government agencies, banks, streaming platforms, retailers, app stores, business tools... All the online services you use every day are linked to your accounts. These are accounts to which you log in using two "sesames": an identifier - usually an e-mail address, a telephone number, or a pseudonym - called a login, and, above all, a password. It's the combination of these two elements that uniquely identifies you when you use an account. 

The problem is that, while it's very easy to remember an e-mail address or telephone number used as a login, it's much harder to memorize passwords. Indeed, for obvious security reasons, we are strongly advised to use different passwords for the sites and services we use and to form them using complex combinations of numbers, symbols, and upper- and lower-case letters. And unless you've got the mind of a cryptographer, it's hard to remember these complicated sequences of characters that are essential to your security. 

To get around the problem, you can use a password manager or record everything in your Internet browser. But these tools are not foolproof and you don't know exactly where this sensitive data is stored, which can be embarrassing the day you need to access it to consult or modify it. 

How to create and memorize a strong password

There is, however, a simple method for creating unique passwords that are both complex - and therefore "strong" - and easy to remember. It consists of creating passwords in two parts:

  • on the one hand, a sequence of characters serves as an unchanging "root", common to all accounts
  • and on the other, a "code" specific to each site or service.
  • By combining these two sections, one fixed and one variable, with a total of between 12 and 16 characters, you can create as many different and complex passwords as you like. 

Let's take an example.

  • Start with an easy-to-remember sequence of uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers, such as Password2024, and add one or two special characters to create your personal root: ?!Password2024.
  • Then, simply add a sequence specific to each service to create a unique password.
  • If you have a CCM account, simply add CCM at the beginning or end, which will make CCM?!Password2024.
  • And for a Gmail account, Gmail?!Password2024.
  • Ditto for an Amazon account, with Amazon?!Password2024, for example.
  • Of course, these are deliberately simple examples: it's up to you to personalize this principle to obtain your own magic formula that will give you long and complex combinations. 

You'll then have a "recipe" for making as many unique passwords as you like: all you need to remember your root and the algorithm to complete it, so you can instantly find the password associated with a particular account. Of course, this method is not an absolute guarantee. If a hacker or an eavesdropping person were to discover two of your passwords, they'd soon figure out how they were formed. And they would use your recipe to guess all the others. But this risk is very low. 

And there's nothing to stop you from using two different roots with the same recipe to form two categories of passwords - one for social networks, the other for public services, for example - just to cover your tracks in the event of a hack. You'll see: your brain is your best safe, especially if you exercise it regularly!