Brian feels smart about: Passwords

Story by Brian Miller

Here’s some free advice: Change your password.

The semester is almost over, so now is the perfect time to implement a better password selection method. I use it, and seriously, my password is so good that I sometimes want to tell people what it is so they can compliment me … and then steal my identity.

When I started college, I felt like I was entering my password every 30 seconds everywhere I went, so I picked an easy one and used it everywhere. But, the guys on the third floor of Towers North had this really fun game where they would log onto each other’s computers and change your Internet homepage or desktop wallpaper to something terrible.
So, I needed to protect myself. I came across an article by Slate that told me how to make a better password. It’s simple, but it works.

First, think of a sentence that has some capitalized words and maybe a number or two. For example: I watch Reba for fun.

Now, take that sentence and use the first letter of some of the words to make a completely nonsensical string of characters: IwR4fun

That’s gibberish, and that’s security. It’s easy to remember, because I think about Reba and her hilarious TV show all the time, and it will hopefully keep people out of my business.
Need another trick? Randomly use the ~. Some people call it a tilde, some people call it the approximate symbol, but one thing we can agree on — nobody likes to type it. You can also try the vertical bar and the square brackets. People don’t usually like to mess with those.

Of course, in a world where robots do most of the online heavy-lifting it might not matter how weird it is for your fingers to type it out, but at least you won’t log onto your personal computer and be amazed that the people around hacked onto your laptop and found something so terrible-looking to harass you with.

Beat those bullies!