Subject: Passwords are a pain.....
Complex/long passwords are required in order to increase the difficulty for hackers to gain access to your information. Complex passwords are comprised of upper/lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation. I'll be up front with you, complex passwords make my head hurt
Be aware that longer passwords are better, even if not complex.
A best practice is to not use the same password on different sites, especially financial institutions. If someone were able to hack into your Facebook account do you want them getting to your checking account?
What if you could develop a pattern to your passwords that only you would know? What if this pattern meant you would never need to memorize a password? Below is an example of a pattern that can create a complex password, unique for every website, and make it so you don't have to memorize passwords.
Note: this is an example only, alter it for your own use as you see fit. I either use sports phrases or funny phrases. So let’s work through a few examples with the phrase “I hate fat cats”
So in my mind the phrase is easy to remember but I change it up, I use h8 for hate, capitalize the I and F, and add the # sign for complexity the phrase becomes Ih8Fatcats# <- 11 characters already!!!
I use part of the website name in the password for that site. So, for my pattern I may choose to use the first 4 letters of the site. FACEbook becomes FACE
Now to work that into the password patterns
If I wanted to create a password on SUNTrust.com
Ih8FatSUNTcats# Would be my password, an 15 character password!!!
Ih8FatFACEcats# Would be my password for FACEbook
Ih8FatPAYPcats# Would be my password for PAYPal, etc.
A human hacker may be able to figure your particular pattern, but most hackers program computers to do the hacking. The computers will not “see” the pattern unless somehow they get more than one of your passwords. Once a hacker has one of your password they have computers setup to try that password on a large number of sites. So for example if they have your Facebook password the first thing they do is have a computer check if the password works on Wells Fargo, Gmail, Hotmail, SunTrust, PayPal, Bank of America, Amazon, etc.…. (probably hundreds if not thousands of sites).
Just as a final note, you may want more than one pattern, for example high (i.e. money/email), medium (i.e. medical) and low security (social media).
Basically by remembering your pattern(s) you can figure out any password for any of your websites, but they are all unique.