How to create strong passwords you’ll remember

Qwerty? Password123? 123456? Are you guilty of using one of these common passwords to “protect” an online account? We hope not. But, if you do, you wouldn’t be alone. 

With dozens, even hundreds, of passwords to remember, people often reuse easy-to-guess passwords again and again. Here’s how you can break out of this risky habit. 

Passwords should be at least eight characters in length and contain upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols (such as ! or &). Create complex — and memorable — passwords by using this method:

  1. Make up a sentence you can easily remember. Some examples:

    • I have two kids: Jack and Jill.
    • I like to eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

  2. Now take the first letter of every word in the sentence and include the punctuation. You can throw in extra punctuation or use numerals for variety. The above sentences would become:

    • Ih2k:JaJ.
    • IlteB&J'ic.

As you can see, the passwords generated by this method can be fairly complex and easy to remember. Just please don't use one of these sentences to create a password for yourself.

You should also create a different password for each of your online accounts to help protect your data.If you need help remembering all your passwords, consider using a password manager, such as LastPass, 1Password or Dashlane. Password managers help you create and store complex and unique passwords.  

For more password tips, visit

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a global effort to help everyone stay safe and protected when using technology. While cyber security can seem overwhelming, this month Information Resources & Technology is focusing on simple steps you can take to defend your online life. Visit for more tips.