The allure of having just one password for everything is that you can do away with having to write down different passwords for different accounts.
However, having the same password for all your important online accounts jacks up the risk of having them all corrupted and taken over at the same time.
Working with multiple unique passwords should be made a common practice. Below are 3 ways to help you think of different passwords and remember them without having to write them down.
1. Come up with your own password system
Password systems vary from one individual to the next. For this tip, we’ll give you an example just to illustrate a system. Later on, you can tweak certain elements of the sample system to suit the way you remember things. Remember, alpha-numeric passwords are still the best as they are tougher to crack.
Step 1: Pick a common phrase. For this example, we’ll use the cow jumps over the moon.
Step 2: Take the first letter of each word from your phrase. This leaves us with tcjotm.
Step 3: Count the number of letters that make up your host’s or service’s name. If you’re making your password for Yahoo, then you use the number 5. Put the number between the letters from your phrase. You now have tcj5otm.
Step 4: Use the consonant letters of your service’s name and attach them at the end of your password. You can choose to separate this with a slash. This leaves you with tcj5otm/ym.
2. Use a password management software
A password management software keeps a database of all your passwords and their corresponding accounts. This beats listing down your passwords on a sheet of paper that others may easily see. Loose sheets of paper are also prone to getting lost.
However, it is still wise to make sure you have multiple updated backup copies of your password database.
Hard drives may crash while laptops and portable storage devices may get lost. Backups allow you to immediately change your passwords for all your accounts in one go.
It is important that you safeguard your password database with a strong master password. Having multiple unique passwords in your database is useless if your master password is a giveaway.
3. Have your passwords randomly generated
Randomly generated passwords are almost impossible to compromise. There is no pattern and there are no personal references involved.
Random passwords may be generated by an online service, by software, or by you. Using online password generators requires skilled caution—make sure the service is credible, so as not to put your accounts at risk.
Software and self-generated passwords require a password management software because it is challenging to manually keep track of multiple unique passwords.
However, it is recommended that your master password be something that you remember. Keep in mind that your unique passwords in your database are only as strong as the master password you come up with.
Again, make sure that you regularly update your database and back it up.