Internet Safety for Kids

Password Block Method

I help Robin create smart passwords with the Password Block Method. I create a list of blocks which include unique information only Robin knows, specifics for the platforms he uses, numbers and special signs.

Let me show you an example. Robin’s favorite sport is football, he loves the flames with his friends in Snapchat, he knows how much pocket money he gets, and we discussed how to formulate a good question.

We use the blocks [Hint][money][question][Sport][money]. For Snapchat this will create the password Flame5?Football5 which is complex enough not to be easily guessed and because it will use a different hint for each platform, it will be unique.

After 2 months we create a new series of passwords by using different blocks and changing the order. This method is very simple to use and easy to remember. I can even make a note for Robin with [hint][money][question][sport][money] because it doesn’t reveal the password.

You can be creative with creating a list of blocks and then with every password change create a new structure. Here are some more example blocks to get you started.

[COLORHINT] Use the color of the icon for the app. With Snapchat that would be Yellow.

[PLAYER] The name of the favorite player of the favorite sports.

[TRICOT] The tricot number of the favorite player of the favorite sports.

[TEAM] The name of the favorite team.

[COLOR] The most favorite color.

[COLORHATE] The least favorite color.

[ANGRY] Meaning using !

[MONKEY] Meaning using @

The important part in creating blocks is to make sure that your child understands what they mean. When selecting the blocks to create a password, makes sure that the final password contains at least a number, a special character, a specific block for the platform to make it unique and a regular block.

You can introduce capitalization by placing them in the block names, for example [Player] would mean that the first letter of the name must be capitalized. Once your child understands this, you can make the password even stronger by using for example [player] which indicates that the third letter must be capitalized.

It is also important to change passwords every now-and-then to make sure old passwords don’t get guessed or exposed over time. With Robin we do that every 2 months and because he gets a new password hint note using the block method, he picks it up very fast. When you generate a new password with the method, make sure to change the order and not repeat the same blocks. A very important part is to always change the platform specific block whenever you change the passwords. This makes sure that the part that makes the password unique for each platform changes with each password change.

Adults can use this method too!