Whether you’re emailing, social networking or shopping or banking online, using passwords is an important part of everyday life. But they can be hard to remember, especially if you want to make them complex in order to be secure.

Simple passwords are easier for hackers to crack, so choosing a secure password is more important than ever. When dating website Ashley Madison was recently hacked, for example, 123456, hello and asdfg were among the most popular passwords chosen by users.

A random, computer-generated 60-bit password is the most secure type of password you can have, estimated to take 11.3 years to crack. But it would be extremely hard to remember – unless you use a new method developed by scientists.

In their paper 'How to memorise a random 60-bit string', Marjan Ghazvininejad and Kevin Knight from the University of Southern California discovered that converting the number into sequence of words makes it much easier to remember.

[Related story: How to create the ultimate uncrackable password]

The pair gave each of the 327,868 words in a dictionary a distinct 15-bit code. They then developed a computer program that generated a random 60-bit numeric password. This was then divided into four, with each 15-bit chunk being assigned its corresponding word.

To make it easier to remember, the words were made into a poem consisting of two lines with eight syllables, ending in a pair of rhyming words.

For example -

The password: 011101110111001111000011001100001010101111111010111110010100 

Is the poem:
Melendez districts circulate 
Andorra issues dominate

The password: 101100011011101110001110101101110010111010110001011101011101 

Is the poem:
The spokesman Adams Holloway 
and Papa physicists today

Want to try it yourself? Ghazvininejad and Knight have developed a sample password generator – but it’s purely for demonstration. To get your own private password, enter your details here.

Do you have a method for choosing a password? Let us know in the Comments section below.