I’m guilty. I’m one of those people who chose a clever password about 10 years ago and then proceeded to use it everywhere — from my email to my PayPal account. It was a unique spelling of work-specific lingo, with a number in the middle. It’s a great password that no one would ever guess, so why not use it everywhere and never change it?
It turns out that there are plenty of reasons, the scariest being that if my password were ever skimmed or stolen in a hack, thieves would try to use it on a multitude of sites. With the crazy number of security breaches over the past few years, I decided to clean up my act. But how?
I came across a blog post that provided the answer I needed — use my password to modify my attitude or behavior, and transform my life. Each password becomes a mantra that you say to yourself every time you log in. A work password might be Gr8Ideas! or Be1Amazing! For your bank account you may want to encourage savings with AbundanceI$Easy5, RetireWithEa$e9 or !$ave!4!Maui!
Trying to lose weight or get into shape? Use passwords to encourage responsible behavior. 1ChooseCa^^ots, Walk_at_Lunch2 or Gr8Food! all work. Sites that pertain to your children — what ideals are you striving toward? You may want to incorporate the words love, encourage, patience or something similar.
Once you get started with mindful passwords, the ideas will flow easily. Just be mindful of changing them frequently, and include upper and lower case letters, numbers and special symbols.