Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tips on Picking & Remembering Passwords

Lifehacker's advice on choosing and remembering passwords is a great system. The company I worked for required employees to have several different passwords and change them frequently (i.e., every 3 months or so), so I had to come up with a system that worked for me. I came up with something very similar. It was a combination of letter and numbers, where the numbers were based on when the password was last changed (e.g., Feb 2007 = 0207) and the letters were based on what the password was for (e.g., human resources = HR). I've also used a foreing language as the letter-based digits, which also came in handy.

This works pretty well for personal passwords, too, since they should be changed frequently to maximize security. For those rarely used passwords, I use Mac's Keychain instead of saving them in a Word or Excel document, which is simply unsafe. I don't know of any other such alternatives, but a commenter on Lifehacker recommended KeePass, which seems to serve the same purpose.