I’m willing to bet there are more than a handful of websites you need to log into. If EducationQuest isn’t one of them, then get your MyEducationQuest account because you’re going to need it. And in the fall of your senior year you’re going to need to get an FSA ID so you can complete your FAFSA. All that on top of remembering the login info for your email account, school account, bank, Amazon, college accounts, computers, and many others. I’m sure you know the first sign of Armageddon… losing your Netflix login.

Thankfully you found me and this blog to help you out. That way you have no excuse to keep up on homework and check on your college financial aid. Without delay, here are some tips for managing your passwords.

Tip #1: Create secure passwords

There is absolutely zero point to securing and managing passwords like the one in the title. If your password is on Time Magazine’s list you should stop reading this and change it NOW. There are some basic elements that go into building a strong password.

First, it should be longer than eight characters, and not 8 or 16 or 32 or 64 characters. Most sites use some kind of security to mask the password as it travels between you and them. Take a tip from this geek and make the job a little harder by not using a password that is factor of four.

Second, use at least one capital and one lower case letter. Just make it a little difficult for hackers by not making the capitalization standard. For example, if my password was educationquest (14 characters long 😉) it would be logical to do EducationQuest but that would be relatively easy to guess. Using eDucaTionqUesT would be more secure.

Last, add at least a number and character. Like the second building block you don’t want to use something like replacing an “e” with a “3”. Let’s keep building off the previous example by adding numbers. Our Omaha office street address is 11031, so now our password is eDu1caT1ion0qUe3sT1. Now that is already 19 characters so we will make it 21 by just adding two characters, but not ones you might normally use. My suggestion, look at your smartphone keyboard, hit the number button then the character button. Many of those are characters that are not often used. Just make sure you know how to get that character on a keyboard.

 

Tip #2: Strategize and don’t duplicate

It’s kind of two tips, but I wanted this to be a list of three so deal with it. 😃

There are many strategies you can employ to create a strong password. Some will use dislocated words, meaning things that don’t commonly go together. For example, Sloth
+ Soccer + Sunset. Others will use a “phrase block” method where you memorize sayings and build from that. For example, TOTWHTFIFI would be “The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself.”

With all of these you want to be sure not to reuse a password. If you could figure out a person’s Instagram password, it would be your first try to log into their bank account.

 

Tip #3: Use technology to help you

Many browsers now have a method for keeping passwords and will suggest secure passwords for you to use. Not a bad idea, but I find it difficult to use in my everyday life. Buy a service like LastPass, Dashlane or 1Password are better options IMO. They have apps for your smartphone as well as plugins for all the major browsers. The key is that they rely on a single password to grant access to all of them, so make sure that password is really really really really really good.

 

Take these tips to heart and the best of luck applying for financial aid and managing your college applications. I hope this information will help you.