A Stronger Password Using Phrases

Passwords are the key to our online identities. So much personal and sensitive information is stored online, with nothing but a few characters between the data and a user. Take a look at 2018’s top 10 worst passwords, according to SplashData. Is yours on the list?

#10: password

#9: qwerty

#8: sunshine

#7: 1234567

#6: 111111

#5: 12345

#4: 12345678

#3: 123456789

#2: password

#1: 123456

It makes sense to protect our accounts with a complex password, one that would be almost impossible to crack. But then the question becomes: how do we remember it? Especially since each account password should be unique and we all have multiple accounts.

If you can use a password manager to track your passwords, do!

However, there are still circumstances where we have to remember a password. Therefore what we need is a password creation strategy. We are given guidelines – use uppercase and lowercase letters, use at least one symbol, don’t use your user name, don’t repeat characters, etc. But we aren’t told how to put these requirements together in a memorable way.

Our strategy at Cyber Safe Workforce is a four step methodology. We recommend starting with a phrase rather than one or two words since the longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Follow our four step methodology to transform your phrase to a strong and memorable password.

A password creation strategy in four steps

Step 1. Choose a phrase

clear winter sunny skies

Step 2. Change the first word to all capital letters

CLEAR winter sunny skies

Step 3. Add a number at the beginning

72CLEAR winter sunny skies

Step 4. Remove spaces


Congratulations, you’ve built a strong, memorable password!

If you need a reminder, write down your password rules, but not the actual password or the original phrase. This should be enough to jog your memory without divulging your password to anyone that comes across the reminder.

Many accounts, both personal and work, require the password be changed at a regular interval. Each time you change your password, keep your rules and choose a new phrase.

Step 1. Choose a phrase

my socks have polka dots

Step 2. Change the first word to all capital letters

MY socks have polka dots

Step 3. Add a number at the beginning

72MY socks have polka dots

Step 4. Remove spaces


You now have a new, unique password that is easy to remember! You can modify steps 2-4 as you like to create your own personalized password recipe.

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