Keeping Passwords Secure with your Password Planner

Keeping Passwords Secure with your Password Planner

I M P O R T A N T   Q U E S T I O N:

When is the last time you updated your passwords? Yes, plural – passwords. As in, all of them. If you’re anything like me, the answer isn’t recent… if you can recall at all.  And this is a big problem because 80% of hacking-related breaches still tied to passwords. I don’t know about you, but I want to keep what’s in my safe: safe. But updating passwords sounds monotonous and what does it have to do with planners, anyways?

Join me this month, in stepping up our cyber security game. I’ve got two password planners to help you keep track of all your new secure passwords and a fun strategy that might make this process a little easier.

S T E P   O N E

First, get your password tracker ready: List all the places you need to update your passwords. Go ahead, I’ll wait. This should take some time – you really want to make sure you list them all.

S T E P   T W O

Next think of a favorite quote, song, book, script, or hobby. You’re going to use this as inspiration to create all of your new passwords. Because yes, experts say they should all be different, if we want this to really be secure. And if we’re going through the trouble of doing it, let’s do it right.

S T E P   T H R E E

Now take your inspiration and start breaking it down into multiple passwords. Chop up words mid-way, to make it harder for people to guess and then add in some numbers, symbols, and capital letters to meet that “strong” password level requirement.  For example, let’s say I wanted to use Seasons of Love, from Rent, as my inspiration:

The lyrics are: Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure? Measure a year?

My passwords could be: 500tWentYf1ve, tHou$and600, m1Nute$500, 20f!vethou$, @ndm0men7$, $odEar500, twEn7y5tHo, Us@nd600m, !nUTesh0w, Doy0um3A, suRe@ye@r?

Or if you wanted to do planner supplies:

B0Ww@sH!, R3Dt0m80W, F3Ltycl!Ps pL@nNer$7aSh, f!n3L!ner$, 8L@ck5haRP!e, p@PerCl!p5

The goal is to make it memorable for YOU but not something anyone could easily guess. Try subbing:

  • $ or 5 for s
  • 1 or ! for i
  • @ for a
  • 7 for T
  • 3  for E
  • 6 for g
  • 0 for o
  • 8 for B

I find it easiest to perform this step on a computer where you can use the find/replace tool to swap out the characters across many passwords in just a one click.

S T E P   F O U R

When you’re done, you can dole out your passwords to each username in your password planner and then the real fun begins: actually changing them.

Go ahead and set yourself a 15 minute timer on your phone. For just 15 minutes, change as many passwords as you can. When the timer is up, you can keep going, or walk away. Depending on how many passwords you need to change, you may need to come back to this project over the next few days until you’ve changed your full list. But that’s OK! 15 minutes a day is easy!

B O N U S   T I P

Together we can keep ourselves secure and hold each other accountable! I hope to see you in another 6-12 months for another round of updates! Oh and hey, before you go – leave this planner in a safe spot, ok? It’s probably not wise to make this a part of your every day carry setup. Instead, tuck it away in a place you won’t forget at home!

If you decide you use this method, make sure to leave me a comment and share how it went! Stay Light, Stay Bright, my friends!


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