Saturday, September 7, 2019

How to Remember a Lot of Passwords

One of the biggest headaches for people today is to remember numerous passwords of the various internet services and websites they use. In the past, there were only a couple of internet sites like Yahoo or Gmail to visit occasionally and you could easily remember a few passwords.

Or, you kept the same password for every site for easy remembering. And that was not a problem some years ago because financial sites like banks and credit cards weren’t internet or Smartphone enabled like today. But that’s a dangerous method now with all the hacking and spoofing every day.

Today, it’s not a good idea to keep the same password for your bank, insurance, email, credit cards, social networking, internet devices, WiFi, Smartphone, payment apps, etc. And If you accidentally get hacked in one site then it’s easily possible for a hacker to get into every website you use and cause mischief. But when it’s dangerous to keep the same password for each site it’s a terrible headache to remember some 15–20 passwords. Also, jotting all the passwords in your diary is another bad idea. And if you forget the password for a site then it’s another cumbersome method to get it reset. Also, all service providers now force you to use a combination of letters and numbers as passwords. So, what do you do when practically every service is now internet enabled?

To solve the above, I have devised a simple method to help you remember a lot of passwords. While this still doesn’t prevent brute hacking by experts or your government snooping on your internet activity, it’s still possible for you to remember a lot of complex passwords using my method. I will now show you how to create a sample complex (but easy to remember) password for Yahoo. But don’t use my example password for any of your internet sites. Create your own unique password.
First pick a complex, non-dictionary word of 7 or 8 characters that you can easily remember. For example, let us use Wekamore.

Next add the short forms of various internet sites to the end of the above complex word. For example, Wekamoreyh, where yh stands for Yahoo. So, you now have a combination of a complex word plus the short form of the particular site in your password. But wait, your password is still not complete.

Next add a four or five digit number at the end of the above word. For example let us choose 1952. So, your complex Yahoo password will now be Wekamoreyh1952. Now this completes your password. Similarly you can add gm for Gmail, fb for Facebook, tw for Twitter, etc., to Wekamore and create complex passwords for each (like Wekamoregm1952, Wekamoretw1952, etc) that you can easily remember.

Now all you have to remember is Wekamore, 1952, and the short forms of various internet sites you use. And presto, you now have an easy formula to remember your password for that site, and for all other internet sites that you use. As an added security measure, you can also split your financial and non- financial sites and use two complex words (say Wekamore and Pikinare) and two 4 digit numbers (say 1952 and 1438).

As an additional security measure, it’s also a good idea to register your cellphone number to all the sites in their security settings. So in case your password gets locked out your service provider can send you an SMS to your registered phone to get the password unlocked.

I hope the above method greatly reduces your password headache now. Now go ahead and change all the passwords of the sites you use by first creating your unique non-dictionary word and a four digit number. And depending on your situation and willingness you can also document your passwords and keep them in a safe custody in your home in case anything bad happens to you. Finally, we shall end this article with a quote by Clifford Stoll who said, “Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months.

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