AUS: 1300 630 488    NZ: 0800 1477 6287

5 easy tricks to manage your passwords

It seems everything has a password these days. Here are some tricks to help remember them, store them and make them hard to crack.

Every time you click on something these days it comes with a password. Then you are caught in the password catch 22: if you use the same one on everything it is deemed unsafe; if you use different ones for every website, you forget them. There has to be an easier way.


1. The golden rule

It is pretty much a blanket rule for websites that they will not ask for your password other than as an online sign-in. So if you get an email, or phone call, that asks for your password then it’s likely a scam. Always keep your password to yourself; you can share it will family if need be but never give your password to a stranger over the phone or via email correspondence.

You may be asked to enter your password online, but do not reveal it over the phone or via email. We cannot stress that enough.


2. Keep it strong

First, you need to select a strong password. These days that means a mix of lower case and upper case letters, as well as numbers and ideally symbols (like ampersands and hashtags... or pound symbols to those of us who used to use landlines!).

One good tip is to personalise each password for the website using initials. Your base password might be “Safe&Secure1922” but for Facebook it becomes “Safe&Secure1922FB” or for the Commonwealth Bank it becomes “Safe&Secure1922CBA”. This simple trick allows you to have multiple passwords but not have to write them all down.


3. Go with a phrase

Another method is to use a passphrase. The longer a password is, the harder it is to crack, so try a sentence with numbers in it and use proper sentence punctuation – e.g., “MymumSharonwasbornin1923”.

There are even online resources dedicated to helping you make strong passwords such as the Strong Password Generator.


4. Remembering your password

Now comes the tricky part: trying to keep all these passwords in your brain ready for use at any time. Despite what a lot of people say, it’s okay to write your password down. Just don’t stick it on a Post-It note next to your computer; that is just asking for trouble.

Write down your passwords but then store them somewhere that’s hard to find, like in the pages of a favourite novel; on a piece of paper that you keep on your person, like in your wallet or purse; or stowed somewhere in the home where only you can find it.


5. Avoid emailing passwords

One final rule: do not email passwords to yourself! Emails are commonly hacked and having your password information there opens all your online business to hackers.


Passwords are a modern hassle to surfing the internet, but with a bit of care and thought they need not be a barrier to getting yourself online.