Opinion: An amusing strategy for devising secure passwords that you can remember

What’s my password again?
(Tim Graham / Getty Images)
Guest blogger

You’ve forgotten the ubiquitous password you must enter and now try in vain to remember it. It’s not six ones, four ones is too short and the reset password you choose (five twos) is not allowed because you’ve used it before or it’s strength has been deemed to weak.

Fortunately there’s a strategy to avoid this. Security experts advise using acronyms to remember passwords. They say using the first letters of a sentence makes remembering passwords easy while also enhancing security. 

It can also be an acronym of a personal goal and thus serve as motivation when used. If one’s goal is to lose weight for example, a password might be: Iwl10p- I will lose 10 pounds.  (Your password doesn’t have to say when.)

Certainly this strategy can be employed anywhere a password is required and set the right tone for each login.


Let’s start with news and political sites. After reading something outrageous, you feel compelled to post a comment. As always you need to pick a password.

Democrats could use a variation of a bumper sticker making the rounds: vdwnpbtn - Vote Democrat we’re not perfect but they’re nuts. (For added security, since a hacker may have seen the bumper sticker too, any adjective can be inserted before nuts.)

Republicans, of course, could use the same password simply by substituting Republican for Democrat. But Republicans might find an anti-Obama password easier to remember: oiaswapbc- Obama is a socialist with a phony birth certificate.

Another suggestion for Republicans would serve as motivation to take on Hillary Clinton in 2016:  rbrbrbaw -Remember Benghazi remember Benghazi remember Benghazi.) That’s simple to remember but not necessarily secure. Adding aw- “and Whitewater” enhances its security.


An acronym password for dating sites could be constructed several ways. It depends on where one sees oneself in the online dating jungle.

First, you might recognize that putting your profile on a dating site will require emotional resiliency. Not everyone is going to jump at the chance to go out with you. Thus something to help you deal with the disappointments likely to come: lswrmt - let’s see who rejected me today.

But maybe you want a password that makes you feel confident. You think your profile is pretty good; you’re a good catch! Try this: mtyoppawlac - my 10-year-old profile pictures always work like a charm.

Still other online daters already get enough attention -- too much so. They are “selective” and they reply “very selectively.” Thus they need a password for the weeding out process: waylqbm- Would all you losers quit bugging me.

Unlike the last date you met online, the password you choose should be something you don’t want to forget.
Some of us take full advantage of social media such as Facebook or LinkedIn while others of us are more passive members.

Hence the password we choose might reflect how active we intend to be. If one intends to post a lot, this password could suffice: atconco - all things considered or not commented on. 

But if all you do is look at friends’ pictures and hit the “Like” button once a month, then choose an acronym password that owns up to your laid back persona: bswdsa - benign stalker who doesn’t say anything.


Even the passive user needs to occasionally make a comment. It’s amazing we have as many friends who are so fun and accomplished.  Everyone is going places and doing things. Thus: iscaio - I see congratulations are in order.

By using acronyms you should never forget a password again. Unless  of course you mix up the acronyms and try to enter your Facebook password at the ATM.

In that case, stick with just with one acronym for everything. Maybe: adpihte - another damn password I have to enter.  And if you forget that, then perhaps there may be one option left: inttsagotg - I need to think seriously about going off the grid.

RMRISPATIM- Richard Mensing resides in St. Paul and teaches in Minneapolis.

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