Password 101

We hear about hackers getting into corporate websites. What about your personal web address and password? Is it safe and can you remember it? As we do our genealogy research online, many times we leave our computer footprint at that site. Is that site safe and can you trust it? Professionals tell us that we should not use the same password for all of our websites that we use. In the past I have had a small address book where I have recorded all of my website passwords. Now I have found an easy way to construct a “strong” password that I can always remember. Well, almost every time. Here is the formula: Prefix + secret core password + suffix.

It looks really complicated, but it’s really simple. So here we go to explain this system.

Prefix: Each prefix will vary from website to website. Using the first three letters of the website with the first letter always capitalized would be your prefix. For example, if I went to Ancestry it would be Anc; for Amazon, Ama; for Ebay, Eba; and so on. Remember the first letter is always capitalized.

Secret Core Password: This is your master password that will remain constant in all of your passwords. You may use any word or set of characters that you can easily remember. It should not be more than five characters, and one of the characters should be a number. Remember, they will always be the same in all of your passwords. Here is an example: your birthdate: Sep26 or sep26; pet’s name: Sam1 or sam1; street address: flag1 (flagstone).

Suffix: The end of the password formula is a special character like $ or * or &. The question is why at the end. Some websites such as will not allow a special character in a password, in that case just leave it off.

So we put it all together and we get examples of passwords: Ama + sep26 + ! and we get Amasep26! Anc + sep26 is Ancsep26 (notice no !) Eba + sep26 + ! is Ebasep26! New + sep26 +! is Newsep26! Net +sep26 + ! is Netsep26!

Come and join us at the Genealogy Club of RR for additional tips and help, especially with your genealogy research. Our meetings are as follows: first and third Tuesdays of the month with a help session on the third Wednesday. Hope to see you at one of these meetings!

Happy figuring out your new passwords! That’s Hapsep26!

Note: If you are forced to change your password on a set schedule as some sites do, just add a number or letter at the end of the suffix. Ancestry, Ancsep261 or Netflix, Netsep26!1