How to Build a Better Password Today

Did you know that as of 2015, the average user in the US had 130 accounts registered to ONE email address. And, the number of accounts has only increased from there. In fact, the number of online accounts we have today is projected by many to double every five years! Let that sink in.

What started as a single password for your very first email account has taken on a life of its own!

That first password has morphed into passwords for everything from multiple email accounts, online shopping and social media accounts, to banking apps, news services, healthcare portals, fitness apps, smart-home monitoring, online service scheduling and payment, financial services, photo-sharing apps, ride-sharing apps, travel sites, movie/tv/radio apps, and so many more. I think, frankly, we simply tend to lose count of just how many online accounts we have, because if we stop to think about it – well, it is scary stuff.

With so many accounts being accessed from so many devices, is it any wonder that we now each have an average of 37 “forgot password” emails in our inbox?

Individuals are still reusing their favorite passwords to access an average of four accounts. At 130 accounts, that means that we are each currently juggling approximately 32 passwords! Believe it or not, we really need to have more. AND we need to make our passwords SLICK!


“SLICK” Passwords are Tougher to Hack

Does your NEW or updated password pass this SLICK test?

  • STRONG – Does your it use numbers, special characters, and capital letters?
  • LONG – Is your password 10 characters long or more?
  • INDIVIDUAL – Is this password individual and used for only one account?
  • COMPLEX – Does it have random words, other languages, misspelled words, or symbols so it’s more complex?
  • KOOKY – Does it include funky, totally unrelated words, and use numbers or symbols as letters?

Example:   %agua$Pira[zzz!

Strong – Long – Individual – Complex – Kooky         …CHECK!
Congratulations! Your SLICK password means those online hackers are more likely to slide right off and move on to someone else’s account!


Advanced – Passphrases are Even Better!

So what’s a “passphrase” and why it is a good thing?

PASSPHRASE – A passphrase is like a sentence you use as a password. It is considerably longer than a standard password and as a result, tougher to hack and more secure. Keep this in mind, the “person” working to break your password is a computer capable of a trillion guesses a second.

This computer is a Hacking Machine. It ALSO has all sorts of personal data-points on you and a MASSIVE database of knowledge with everything from language, common word pairings and word associations, world history, to art, and global pop culture. So that birthday, anniversary, pet name or favorite color, song lyric or line from your favorite obscure poem, or word in a foreign language… not so much.

We need to get really crafty and random with our passphrases!

Example:  green eggs that clam gor haribo tuba
Example:  fibber caged jupiter ate leap glucker

Now run each of those two passphrases together with no spaces between the words and they become… SLICK!

Strong – Long – Individual – Complex – Kooky         …CHECK!


Start Building Secure Passwords
Your 8 Week Plan

Over the next 8 weeks, change the passwords in each of the following categories to a “SLICK password” or a “6-7 random-word Passphrase” – Start with this plan today!

Today   BANK & FINANCIAL accounts – do that today!

Wk 1      EMAIL accounts

Wk 2      CREDIT CARD accounts


Wk 4      ONLINE SHOPPING accounts

Wk 5      SOCIAL MEDIA & REVIEW SITE accounts


Wk 7      ENTERTAINMENT & TRAVEL accounts

Wk 8      MISC PERSONAL & BUSINESS accounts

Here’s an IDEA!!! Share this post with a friend, networking group, book club or professional organization – phone a friend, buddy-up and create accountability to get this DONE!

COMING UP… In June, we show you how to Make that Passphrase SUPER SLICK.


Answers to Questions About Estate Planning

Do you have questions about wills, trusts, estate planning or financial or medical power of attorney. If you want to protect an aging relative from losing their hard-earned money to fraud or if you feel overwhelmed because a loved one has passed away without benefit of a will or trust, call my Los Gatos office at (408) 376-2755 to request an appointment.

You are welcome to Print this Free 30 Minute Legal Consultation Certificate 

Let’s get some of those questions answered!

estate_planning_living_trust_preparation_losgatos_Diane M. Brown, Esq.
Working every day to keep my clients out of court!
It’s your money… Let’s keep it that way!
Call 408.376.2755



This blog contains general information and is not meant to apply to a specific situation. Please seek advice of counsel before proceeding as each case is unique.


Source: Some of the statistics in this article came from a Dashlane infographic published in July 2015.


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