Let a song inspire you … to better online security

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Whether you’re into Ed Sheeran, Frank Sinatra or Travis Scott, their music can not only lift your day, it can also inspire really strong online security.

Generally I use a password generator attached to my password manager app when I sign into a new site for the first time.

However, if I know it’s a site that I’ll be signing in and out of often and I don’t want the hassle of a 39-character password full of symbols and special characters, then I turn to my favourite tunes for inspiration.

Let’s take an Ed Sheeran classic, for example – The Shape of You. Whether you take the words of the first few lines of the first verse:

The club isn’t the best place to find a lover
So the bar is where I go
Me and my friends at the table doing shots
Drinking fast and then we talk slow…

… or from the chorus:

I’m in love with the shape of you
We push and pull like a magnet do
Although my heart is falling too
I’m in love with your body…

… that song, any favourite song, can give you the base for a really strong password.

Here’s how…

Let’s just take the first line of the first verse as an example:

The club isn’t the best place to find a lover

Now as you sing that through your head, take the first letter of each word:

T – c – i – t – b – p – t – f – a – l

Right off the bat you have a 10 letter password that you’ve just created AND that you’d quite easily remember.

Of course, if you want to make it longer, you could add the second line to increase its security.

Alternatively (or in addition) you could make some rules up that would make even that 10-letter password stronger. For example:

  • You could make all letter “i”s into number “1”s, “e” to “3”s, “o”s to “0”s (zeroes), “s”s to “5”s etc etc
  • You could also change all “a”s to “@”s
  • You could also make a rule that says the first letter will always be a capital (not changed to a number), and maybe even always end with a capital, or alternate capitals throughout the word

So, very easily, your new Ed Sheeran-inspired password could change from:

tcitbptfal

to:

[email protected]

That’s a pretty hard password for someone to crack BUT not that tricky for you to remember at all – so long as you remember any rules that you make up!

Or how about this one from Ol’ Blue Eyes …

On State Street, that great street
I just want to stay, I just want to stay
They do things they don’t do on Broadway, say
They have the time, the time of their life

That’s the second (but possibly more famous?) verse from Chicago (My Kind of Town) sung by Frank Sinatra (and others).

You can see how easily you could get the really strong password:

O5StG51jWt5

Lots of  “s”s (or “5”s!) but still that would rank as a really strong 11-character password that you could remember, but that would be REALLY hard to crack.

It doesn’t have to be songs – poems, first or last lines of books you’ve loved, hymns, chapters from religious texts … anything that’s dear to you and that you know you could easily remember can give you the base for taking that next step in improving your own online security.

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