Hardening your password and yet still easy to remember it

Password… What is password? It’s a secret thing that you, and only you, the one and only, who knows the secret that lies behind it. So why should you care about it? Passwords is a key for accessing your online properties on the internet. Many people like your friends, brothers, or maybe your colleague been using a password that actually very easy to guess, such as his dog name, mother name, his lastname, or maybe the very most favorite everyone password 12345. The easier a password is for the owner to remember, generally means it will be easier for an attacker to guess, please don’t use just hackme password. There are so many ways how people could easily guess your password, as easy as looking behind your shoulder while you’re typing a password at the computer or maybe an ATM machine, according to wikipedia this is called _“Shoulder Surfing”_


In this post, I’m going to share some trick of mine that would make your password hard to break and guess but yet still easy for you to remember it, but first things first you may need to know the basic thing how to make your password secured,

  1. Don’t use so many common dictionary words, maybe you can use indigenous words in it.
  2. Don’t be too short, use at least 8 characters in your password.
  3. Use symbols, numbers, uppercase, and lowercase.
  4. According to wikipedia you need to avoid the kind of these words,
    • The name of a pet, child, family member, or significant other
    • Anniversary dates and birthdays
    • Birthplace
    • Name of a favorite holiday
    • Something related to a favorite sports team
    • The word “password”


So here we go, at first, please pick 3 to 5 words that easy for you to remember, it could be your mothers name, dog name, your house number, street name, daughters name, etc.

As example I will pick 4 words to remember, and then combine it into a phrase that related to my education history,

I attend college at Padjajaran Univ in 1999, taking Mathematic as my major study, since then I live in Bandung until I graduate.

Padjajaran (is the university I attended) - 1999 (is my highschool graduate years) - Mathematic (is my major study at college) - Bandung (My second city)

Note: Take 1st slot in your brain to remember the phrase and these main words in order: Padjajaran, 1999, Mathematic, Bandung.


Let the first letter to be uppercased and then shortened each word, let the number be as it is. Bare in mind that the way you shortened each words might be different with anyone else. For me, I will shortened each word in a way where I can still remember it,

Pdj - 1999 - Mat - Bdg

Note: Take 2nd slot in your brain how you shortened each word you have and be CONSISTENT.


Obsfucate your shortened word with symbols by swapping the letters

  • “a” to “@”
  • “t” to “+”
  • “o” to “*” OR “()”
  • “s” to “$”
  • “l” to “!” OR “|”
  • “k” to “|<” OR “!<”
  • “w” to “\/\/”
  • “x” to “><”

Pdj” “1999” “M@+” “Bdg

Please be careful when using 2 symbols for a word, because it wouldn’t be easy to remember.

Note: Take 3rd slot in your brain how you obsfucate the words and be CONSISTENT.

Now your secure password will be “Pdj1999M@+Bdg
You can use a service like http://www.passwordmeter.com to check how strong is your password.

Some tips when you registering into a online service, sometimes some of them is keeping your plain password (not encrypted) on their database server, that was really dumb and not reliable. You may test it with “Forgot Password” feature, if they mail you with your plain password inside, you need to deactivate your account at once and don’t ever use that service, coz it’s bad bad bad.

Khalid Adisendjaja

Internet tech wanderer. Networking enthusiast. Radio Announcer. Casual Gamer. OpenSource Fans. Information Junkies. My tweet is my own.

Jakarta, Indonesia http://khal.web.id