Answer by Andy Zavoina:
On my bank sites, I recently added information on identity theft. It applies here as well. This is an excerpt that simplifies this process, may reduce the frequency of forgotten passwords and makes them difficult to break and unique:
When creating passwords and PINs (personal identification numbers) do not use any part of your Social Security number, birth date, middle name, wife's name, child's name, pet's name, mother's maiden name, address, consecutive numbers, or anything that a thief could easily deduce or discover.
Use a mnemonic to form a password. As an example, “1TqBfJoTlD2” might be hard to remember, but it would be an effective password. It is long, alpha-numeric, upper and lowercase. But all we did was put a “1” and a “2” around alternating upper- and lowercase letters from “The Quick Brown Fox Jumped Over The Lazy Dog”.
Any favorite sentence, rhyme or line from a song will do, so long as it isn't discussed or written on a sticky note on the screen.
Answer by Dana Turner:
Andy's suggestion is a very effective one. Many banking products that require a password limit the user to four (4)characters. If it's possible, see if you can expand this number to six(6) or eight(8) characters or try this variation:
There are three (3) types of characters commonly used in passwords, including:
- Numbers; and
- The characters created by combining the SHIFT key with the various number keys (the number keys below the F keys, NOT the number keys on the right side of the keyboard).
First published on BankersOnline.com 9/3/01