When I was teaching college, I always did a resume building workshop, and one of my examples of what NOT to do was a parody on a the worst resume imaginable. In it, the author used L33t Sp34k (Leet Speak) to indicate some level of tech savvy. To the human resources department, this was an eye-roller. However, to the geek in me, it also became a great tool for teaching students about password safety.

As our technological world continues to transform, expand, and offer new forms of vulnerabilities, we MUST start rethinking how we manage our privacy and accounts. In the last few months, on the tail end of election hacking and other breeches in consumer data online, many banks and businesses are requiring clients to create tougher passwords, set up two-step authentication, and log a cell number for verification!

Most of us LOVE using words and numbers we will remember; “puppydog2017” or “password123.” WAY TOO HACKABLE!  So instead we are harassed into generating a password with at least 8 characters, which includes a capital letter, numbers, a symbol, and our first born’s thumb print.

I however, take advantage of this odd little language called 1337 (L33t) to transform words I can remember into better passwords. For example, “mykidlet” can turn into “M7k1dl3+”  OR “Evelyn2017” can turn into “E>317n2o17”

So, start rewriting your password book, and use this helpful key. If it looks like too much, my rule of thumb is to replace just the vowels in a word with the number equivalents! Either way, you will soon be writing entire resumes in l33t…

L3T M3 T311 Y0U H0W… JU$T W34R Y0UR L33T GL4$$3$!

Letter Number/Symbol Equivalents
A or a 4 or @
E or e 3
I or i 1 or !
O or o 0 (zero)
B or b 8 or 6
C or c ( or <
G or g & or 9
L or l 1
S 5 or $
T +
V or v >
X or x #
Y or y 7
Z or z 2