Picture Your Password

By Cliff Guy

At dotMailer, we recently asked all our users to resubmit new passwords, using strict criteria to make sure all dotMailer email marketing accounts are protected by very ‘strong’ passwords.

Of course, ‘strong’ passwords aren’t always as easy to remember because by their nature they are less obvious and more complicated. So for anyone struggling to remember new passwords, here is some useful memory technique advice from the wonderful world of cognitive neuropsychology.

We know that memory is very, very visual, and that visual memories are stronger. So imaging can be a powerful way to help memorise a password.

A good example of the process is the “number shape system” of eight-time world champion Dominic O’Brien, now a trainer and author of several books on improving memory.

He translates numbers into images that resemble their shape, so 1 could become a candle or streetlamp and 8 a snowman or egg-timer.

To help remember a Pin of 1580, for example, he suggests imagining walking into the bank carrying a candle, standing in a queue behind a snake, and seeing a snowman bouncing a football behind the counter.

Here is a visual image list of the numbers 1 to 10:

0 – Football, ring, wheel
1 – Candle, streetlamp, stick
2 – Swan, snake
3 – Lips, handcuffs
4 – Sailboat, flag
5 – Snake, seahorse
6 – Elephant’s trunk, monocle
7 – Boomerang, axe, cliff
8 – Snowman, egg timer, female model
9 – Balloon and string, lasso

Source: Dominic O’Brien’s How To Develop A Brilliant Memory

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