, Derry, New Hampshire

Online Extras: News to Note

June 12, 2012

The most secure password of all time


7. Use something memorable, like a historical date.

This would be good advice if I had not been in conversations where people asked, with no irony whatsoever, "When was the Compromise of 1850?"

The memorable things are never the things you actually remember. Your anniversary? Your child's birthday? Of course not. You are too busy remembering all the lyrics to a song about recycling that you were forced to memorize as a small child or anything negative anyone has ever said about you.

If there is one thing I have learned in all this research, it is that there are memorable passwords and secure passwords, and never the twain shall meet. No, the only thing to do is try to get the sympathy of the hacker. My password is "Pleasesirormadammyidentityisworthlessbutitisallihave8." (They make you put a number in.)

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Alexandra Petri is a member of the Post's editorial staff.

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