The No.1 Password Solution *

What's the problem?

OK, everyone has done it. It's so hard to keep track of all your passwords. But using the same password on multiple sites on the internet should still be... prohibited. Recent password breaches should be a final wake-up call.

Here is the solution to the problem. A safe and easy way to remember all your passwords, once and for all. Follow me, here we go.

You need an algorithm.

Algo-what? Well, an algorithm is a system that only you know. With your own system, you can figure out all your passwords, although your passwords are different from site to site. It sounds complicated, but it's soo easy.

So How?

You start with a combination of characters. Take "dfg987" as an example. See how easy it is to write! Do it now. OK, this (or anything else you choose), is your password base. This part of your password is the same from site to site.

To this password base you always add a suffix. For example, the site's first three letters. For your password would look like this: dfg987goo and - dfg987fac.

Now for the last, exciting part - your algorithm! I decide for the sake of example that my algorithm is calculated like this: the third character-2 (ie two steps backwards in the alphabet). When you add this "control character" your Google password looks like this: dfg987goom. Your Facebook password is now dfg987faca.

A few tips

You can choose your own password base and suffixes and make your algorithm either simple (as in this example) or more complex longer for higher data security. The choice is yours, the technique is the same. Whatever you choose, you now have a system that allows:

1. You to "remember" (you can calculate) all your passwords, without having to document them anywhere
2. You never use the same password in two places

For all the passwords you can not change, or for some reason still want to document, I recommend that you use the excellent program KeePass (KeepassX on Mac).

I challenge you to start using your own algorithm and change your existing password right away. It's not complicated: as you log on to your usual sites, change the password, and in a week or so, you have already changed the most important ones. Good luck!

Update 2012-01-24: It is usually recommended that you use passwords that consist of combinations of characters (including uppercase), numbers and special characters. Nerd comic xkcd suggests that a password based on a combination of 4 random common words is more secure, and most importaintly, a lot easier to remember. Please use this technology in combination with the algorithm above, eg "hair needle instrument goom" and "hair needle instrument faca"

* This is a combination of techniques based on common sense, that adress some common password problems. The solution is free to improve and debate. Naturally, you can not hold me responsible if the solution does not work for you

Published 2011-11-16 (updated 2012-01-24)
Swedish version
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