You know the drill– you just want to upload some photos to have them printed, but first you have to spend fifteen minutes trying to remember which one of your 47 variations of your password you might have used for this site. Was this during the phase when you spelled everything with numbers? That time you made all your passwords your favorite zoo animal followed by the number of kids you have? Your mom’s middle name when the vowels were numbers followed by your basketball jersey number? You eventually surrender and go to reset your password, only to find out you’re attempting to reset it with a previous password and that’s not allowed. It’s enough to make a girl want to take a hammer to her laptop. 

If you’re a good, rule-following internet user, then you have probably wasted hours of your life on complicated passwords– creating them, remembering them, changing them. Turns out, that may have been totally unnecessary. 

In a recent Wall Street Journal article it was revealed that the man who was behind encouraging us to create complicated and nonsensical passwords was playing an educated guessing game about what might work. And now we know that his original guess was wrong. 

So what does work? Turns out we would be better off creating longer, multiword passwords than having a shorter password with numbers and symbols thrown into the mix. These passwords would be simpler for us to remember and harder for someone else to hack. And we may only need to change them when there’s concern we’ve been hacked rather than rotating them regularly. Finally, some news that makes our lives easier. 

So go ahead and create a fun password combination based on your Starbucks drink order plus your favorite childhood cartoon. VentiwhitemochaFlinstones? I bet that’s something you won’t be forgetting anytime soon. 

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