DO’S and DON’TS for Organizing and Creating Passwords

Published on: Author: Anne Langton

There are many things that can challenge us in the office each day and many things that gobble up our time.  As the electronic age explodes around us, so does our list of passwords and PINS.  Creating passwords and organizing them may seem silly and a waste of time…that is until your account has been hacked or YOU have forgotten your own password.  Here are some basic DO’s and DON’T regarding passwords.


  1. DON’T write your password down on the card.  I know…I know…but this still needs repeating.
  2. DON’T use significant dates, street numbers or the last four digits of your social security number.  It is easy for a thief to research these (especially if your license is stolen).  Don’t even use dates or names associated with loved ones.
  3. DON’T use sequential numbers such as 1234 or 1111.  And don’t think that you have outsmarted the thieves on certain “cute” tricks.  In order of popularity below are the most common PINS that thieves adore!
  • 1234
  • 0000
  • 2480 (top to bottom keyboard sequence
  • 1111
  • 5555
  • 5683
  • 0852 (spells love)
  • 2222
  • 1212
  • 1998

4.   DON’T share your passwords with anyone!

5.   DON’T use your username as the password

6.   DON’T have a password shorter than 6 characters



  1. DO create passwords that are easy to remember
  2. DO create different passwords for different accounts
  3. DO create long passwords.  Eight characters or more are best.  Even consider what is known as “padding” which adds characters.  For example: “Montana5499” could be “Montana5499))))”
  4. DO consider converting favorite sayings or holidays into letters or numbers on the keyboard.  Example: “Ask not what you can do for your country” could be “anwucd4yc”
  5. DO use numbers that are impossible to trace such as a childhood phone number or phone number to your favorite restaurant.
  6. DO use punctuation marks or special characters such as &$#*
  7. DO write down and store all passwords in secure location AND inform significant others in case of an emergency.  This is yet another great use for excel spread sheets .  Create 3 columns and list account name, username and password or pin.  By using the sort feature you can then easily alphabetize for easy reference.

And finally if your list of passwords is so out of control or if you are finding that it is almost impossible to remember them (although refer to “DO- item #6) there are many many password managing systems available which is a secure way to make your work and personal life easier by remembering all your passwords. Therefore saving you time (and money for you solopreneurs).  Simply google “password managers”

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