Online safety / May 02, 2019

World Password Day

Nimmi Kanji

Nimmi Kanji

Director - Social Purpose Programs, For Good and TELUS Wise

Wise - Thumbnail: World Password Day

Let’s face it. Many of us are guilty of using the same password for multiple online accounts or using simple passwords in hopes that we won’t forget them. We’re talking about passwords like “123456” and “password” which, according to SplashData, claim the top two spots for the worst passwords of 2018. These risky password management habits can put your online privacy and security at risk.

World Password Day, this year on Thursday, May 2__,__ is a great reminder to reevaluate and change any weak passwords. Consider these tips to help you create stronger (and more memorable) passwords for added ease and security.

Get creative!

Create a password that you’re more likely to remember by using something meaningful, while staying away from anything too obvious, like your cat’s name or your birthday.

Try creating a password or passphrase that will trigger your memory based on the account or the app that you’re logging in to. For example, maybe your favourite aunt Mary loves Facebook. For your Facebook account, create a password/passphrase using her initials, city and/or date of birth, like, Favourite Aunt Mary from Sudbury April 16, 1959! Password = *F@MfS41659!*. Remember to replace some letters with characters or symbols, and add special characters for added security.

Other ideas: use the lyrics of your favourite song to access your favourite music app; use a combination of your favourite sports team and the year they won their last championship to access a sports related app; and use the title of your favourite book and year it was published for your library app (for example, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie = H2W!NfDC1936!). Get creative with the combination, paying attention to special characters and length, but make it a memorable trigger so you’re less likely to forget.

Reduce the mental burden with password managers

In our digital world, where a secure password is often lengthy and sometimes complicated,  password managers are becoming increasingly popular. A password manager is an app that stores the passwords to a users’ online accounts, providing a more secure alternative to writing down your passwords or keeping track of them in the “notes” on your phone. Not only do they securely encrypt all of your passwords, they can be a handy solution for those struggling to keep their passwords top of mind. Password managers can also suggest strong passwords for you when you sign up for new online accounts and services.

PCMag reviews the best password managers for 2019 and also offers insights into the best free password managers. There are numerous options to choose from, and with little to zero cost associated with them, they can be totally worth the investment and can help keep you and your privacy protected online.

For more tips on how to stay safe in our digital world and protect your privacy online, visit

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