Nerds of the Round Table

For all things good and nerdy

Password Games

One of the chief problems that everyone has is working with passwords.  I can’t make you have fewer passwords, but I do have a system for remembering them better.  As long as you like something with words, you can remember any complex password.  My favorite source of password are songs.  I prefer the choruses of popular songs.

So how do I go from music to passwords?  Well, you need to start with taking a line from a song.  As an example, lets look at a song every American should know, the US National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.

Password Source: Oh, say can you see; by the dawn’s early light!

Now, that line alone is about 47 characters from the ‘O’ to the ‘!’.  Way too many for your average password system, but it has the right number of words: 10.  So lets shorten that lyric down to password length. Just take the first letter of each word, keep the capitalization, and take out the spaces and punctuation.

Basic Password Option: Oscysbtdel

Now many secure systems insist on 4 things: upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols (!$+).  So lets add a few of these things.  You can add them, by substituting the numbers and symbols for similar letters.  For example, replace an ‘O’ with a ‘0’ or replace ‘t’ with ‘+’. Don’t forget to add punctuation from your source to the result. Add capitals were it makes sense to you, since there is a pause in the line before the word “by”, I will capitalize that letter.

Secure Password Option: 0$cy$B+d3l!

Now, remember to pick your own songs, poems, or other works of literature for sources. Being very original helps. And now you have some very secure passwords that at least make sense in your head.

– Ferg


3 responses to “Password Games

  1. Mesanna June 26, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Hey, this is exactly what I do for important passwords! It works really well and it’s so easy to come up with complex passwords that are simple to remember. In addition to changing the letter O for zero, I also swap A for 4, 3 for E, 1 for I, and usually stick a full stop or maybe a couple of exclamation marks at the end just for good measure. Stay away from apostrophes though, some sites don’t like them in passwords (like WordPress to name one!)

    • ferg2kk June 28, 2009 at 9:36 pm

      I agree, and I wrote this post for many of my friends and family who complain about passwords. If you want to keep tabs on things here, I will be posting more Two-Cent Tutorials. Feel free to link any friends to them for help in common computer areas.


  2. Well Done Training July 15, 2012 at 9:17 pm

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