How to Remember Forgotten Passwords

2020-07-13 - 9 min read

It’s easy for us to harp on about the importance of super secure, ultra-complex passwords to bamboozle hackers. But then what? How do you remember these tongue-twisting passwords? Browsers are unsafe, and post-it notes are a big no-no. Chances are you’ve also used the same password for most of your accounts, because let’s face it — who is ever going to remember “ThIe5&_?XepwQ7360loi”?

We’ve all forgotten passwords before. But before you give up, you may be able to figure it out easily by following some of the tips below.

Try your other passwords

A lot of us tend to reuse passwords. It’s easier than creating new ones, and you’re less likely to forget them. In which case, try using the same password from your other accounts.

If you manage to get into one of your accounts with a password from another, change it immediately. Hackers are aware that people tend to use the same password for multiple accounts, so once they manage to break into one of your accounts, the rest are a piece of cake to get into.

Let NordPass generate a hacker-proof password for you now.

Your name or names of friends and family

We always advise you against using personal names for passwords, but you may have already done so. You can try variations of your name or names of family or friends.

For example, if your name is Laura Row, try these as potential passwords:

  • Laura1234

  • LRow

  • L.row>

  • Row.L

  • Arual

If the above combinations don’t work, try using the same formula with names of family or friends. While using names of family or friends is a clever way to dissociate your account from you, a hacker only needs to take a nosy peek into your social media to uncover your family connections. So beware!

Birthdays

Your name, followed by your birthday, is a common password for anyone who is sick of forgetting it. It’s so simple that you may have forgotten this is the one you used. So, if your name is Laura Row and you were born on August 31, 1975, you could try these combinations:

  • L31081975

  • 1975LW

  • ROW1975

  • Rowaugust

  • LR75

  • Lrow1975

Don’t forget to try the birthdays of your children, siblings, or pets.

Try your name with other personal details

If you have a suspicion that your forgotten password could be a mixture of personal details (which they usually are), try some of the following combinations:

  • Significant dates

    Try dates that are memorable to you, such as your anniversary, dates of famous historical battles, the year you moved into your house, or the last three digits of your phone number. In a bid to create the most memorable passwords, we usually opt for dates cemented in our minds.

    Try the formulas above, combined with a few of the most meaningful dates to you. And remember to write down the ones you’ve tried, crossing them off as you go, so you don’t end up chasing your own tail.

  • Your home or work address

    You may have used parts of your work or home address when you created your password. Since a lot of sites use your childhood address as your security question, you may have used this as inspiration. Try the street name or number of your office building, your childhood postcode, or parts of your current home address, like the door number, followed by the first three letters of your postcode. Again, if this does work for you, change your password immediately — you’re giving away a lot of precious information to hackers if they ever manage to break into your account.

Things to remember

Don’t forget that passwords are case-sensitive. When entering your password, think about the following:

  • Is the Caps Lock key on? Make sure you haven’t accidentally typed everything in capitals or used a small letter instead of a capital somewhere.

  • When you type your passwords, it will usually be hidden behind asterisks, which can confuse you. You can see your password as you type by clicking the tiny ‘eye’ icon in the password box – most websites have this option.

  • Is your keyboard working properly? Sticky keys and typing in a hurry can make you miss characters. Simple as it may sound, type slowly and ensure every character shows correctly.

If you still can’t remember your password

It’s okay — we’ve all been there. If you still can’t remember your password after trying every trick in the book, you can contact the website or company directly to regain access. You may have to go through some security checks, but it should be a fairly quick process.

There is always an option to click the ‘forgotten password’ option, which is available on most websites. However, this can be a long-winded process if you don’t have access to your recovery email or phone number you supplied when creating the account. In some cases, online banking sites, Google, and some other websites can lock you out of your account for an indefinite period while they investigate failed password attempts.

The best thing to do is use a password manager

We all suffer from the same password trauma, and with so many things in our lives happening online, we now have accounts for practically everything.

No one thinks about where they’re going to store their trove of passwords. Is there an easy way to secure your credentials, so that instead of having to remember them you can get on with more important things?

Yes, and the answer is NordPass — your personal password manager. NordPass stores your passwords in an online vault, securing them against theft with powerful XChaCha20 encryption and biometric locks. You’ll never have to worry about remembering a password again, since NordPass auto-fills them on websites for you. You don’t have to keep a little black book of passwords either (which, may we remind you, is a big no-no!). Instead, NordPass automatically backs up your passwords and permanently saves them in the cloud. This means that NordPass works on all of your devices — not just the one where you have it installed.

You’re free to generate super-complex, secure passwords and let NordPass remember them for you, taking the security of your online accounts into a whole new stratosphere.

You could get your browser to remember your passwords, but you shouldn’t. Here’s why.

One of the most common ways people use to remember their passwords is getting their browser to do it for them. With queries like “How do I make Google remember my password?”, “How do I make Safari remember my password?”, or “How do I make Windows10 remember my password?”, we are asking for some major account breaches to happen. A hacker can bypass most browser security functions in a few easy steps and run away with your most precious credentials.

NordPass has extensions that work on Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge and Safari. It remembers and auto-fills your passwords in the exact same way your browser would, except it gives you unbeatable security and syncs across all of your devices. You can log in to Netflix on Safari from your phone or on Windows from your laptop without any hassle — your passwords are remembered and auto-filled no matter the device.

Some find it tempting to make their browser remember their passwords. We get it — it’s easier to have less apps to manage, but you should never have to sacrifice security for ease. With the NordPass extension, you can have both. So if you ever find yourself facing such a dilemma, the NordPass extension is your best friend.

Monica Webster
Monica Webster
Verified author
Monica is the spirit of our content team. Her bubbliness and creativity sparkle her articles. She loves to investigate various security related problems and bring useful tips to readers. When she is not writing about technology, she explores art.
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