Weak: Greg

In your passwords, don’t use the names of people you know, such as your husband—whose untimely disappearance 12 years ago was a tragic accident you’re still really sad about.

Strong: IK!LLdHubs’’o9!

Pick an easy-to-remember phrase and modify it by shortening the words and substituting numbers and special characters for some letters. For extra security, pick a phrase so utterly 100% false that no one will ever guess it, such as “Yay, a hornets’ nest!,” “Cats was a cinematic masterpiece,” or “I killed my husband in 2009.” What joke! Haha! Next.

Weak: 123456

Avoid this flimsy password—the same way you avoid flimsy alibis regarding your whereabouts on March 13th, 2009, at 11:38 AM—at all costs!

Strong: [email protected]'sHou5eTHat-day,OfficER-I-Sw3ar!!!

Long passwords are strong passwords—as strong as this alibi sounds, in your opinion. If your long password is hard to remember, practice saying it in front of the mirror to memorize it (and in this case, doing so will help the words flow seamlessly from your lips when you’re being interrogated).

Weak: camping

Never use single, unmodified words as your passwords. So while the word “camping” here may provoke a strong reaction because of the completely mysterious tragedy that occurred on Greg’s solo camping trip, it’s a weak password that can be cracked like an egg or, for example, a human head at the bottom of a cliff.

Strong: “P0i5on_:)

If you do use real words, modify them with upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters, like here with the word “poison” (huh, why did you choose that word? So weird). Otherwise, your passwords will be easy to hack—easier than pushing a 180-pound man off a mountain after sneakily dissolving ten Xanax pills in his coffee, as the old saying goes.

Weak: 05-07-1997

Don’t use birthdays as passwords, whether it’s your own or the birthday of your younger, hotter sister—which, you’d discovered, Greg has used as the password for his secret email account.

Strong: body-Ch0ppeD-w/[email protected]^stufFed-In-tRunk_&_dr0ve_home

If you’re struggling to create a good password, string together several completely random words such as “octopus cheese NASCAR,” “body chopped with machete,” or “dead people are so heavy.” Words you wouldn’t normally use together and still don’t, by the way. Next!

Weak: password

You might think you’re being clever here, but hackers will have no trouble breaking into your accounts with this sad excuse of a password. By the way, hackers are the real bad guys here, unlike someone who, if they were to kill their lying, cheating spouse 12 years ago and secretly bury the body in their sister’s backyard, would be completely justified in their actions. Hypothetically, of course. No way, sis! You found WHAT when you dug up the ground for your new patio? I am in total, not-fake shock that you found my husband—or whoever it was, IDK.

Strong: Gi58#4*gHTgh%^d2rrt

Bang on your keyboard for a few seconds—seriously! The result will be a random gibberish string of characters, and an incredibly secure password. Your social media accounts, banking, and that detailed ten-page Word doc confession to the crime you drunkenly wrote one day at 2 AM will be kept safe from the police when they break into your house with a so-called “warrant,” thanks to your snitch of a sister. Look, it wasn’t you! It happened 12 years ago, haven’t they moved on? And the bloody machete—or whatever the killer used—is nowhere near the croquet mallets in your garage! They’ll never get your precious secrets! Oh. Oh, no. They’re taking your computer, cuffing you…This time, your tears and screams are real.

Weak: 1-800-529-9377

Don’t phone numbers as passwords. You won’t need passwords where you’re going, though your lawyer’s number will come in handy.


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