See beyond the numbers

Create STRONG passwords that you won’t forget!

Too often we are expected to create random, complicated passwords with special characters and lots of restrictions. Especially now, with all the security breaches, we recommend the following method to help you develop passwords that are strong and easy to create and remember:

For website passwords, use the first four or five letters of the website to start the password. For example: 

Website Password amaz citi hotm


For added security, add the @ symbol and a number (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0) to the first letters of the website. For example:

Website Password amaz@1 citi@1 hotm@1


Pick a phrase that is easy for you to remember, but that no one else will be able to attribute to you. For example:

Passphrase: “My Wife’s Birthday Is April Twenty-Fifth Nineteen Sixty Six”

Use the first letter of each phrase to form an abbreviation. For example:

m – My
w – Wife’s
b – Birthday
i – Is
a – April
t – Twenty-
f – Fifth
n – Nineteen
s – Sixty
s – Six

Abbreviated pass phrase: mwbiatfnss

Add the passphrase to the first letters of the website, the @ symbol and number. For example:

Website Password amaz@1mwbiatfnss citi@1mwbiatfnss hotm@1mwbiatfnss

Following this pattern will help you develop strong passwords that are easy to create and remember. Remember that at a minimum the passwords must:

  • contain at least 1 letter
  • contain at least 1 number or punctuation mark
  • be at least 8 characters long


Jorge Rey, CISA, CISM, CGEIT is an associate principal and the director of information security & compliance for Kaufman, Rossin & Co. Kaufman, Rossin is one of the top CPA firms in Florida. Jorge can be reached at

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