How to keep your password hidden in plain sightApril 11, 2008 – 5:08 AM
When all of your users have decided to keep their passwords written down on sticky notes, on their hands and under their keyboards how do you protect them from themselves? You could go ahead and rip off each of their finger nails (ouch) until they promise to never write it down again or you could take a much nicer, more humane route — teach them a way to write it down without writing it down.
I learned a trick somewhere along the way of a simple means of keeping your information handy without giving it out to the rest of the world. It starts like this… Choose a keyword, write it down anywhere you’d like, choose a modification system and stick with it.
So, say my keyword I wanted to use was target. It’s simple, I could write it on my hand, on my car window or even shout it from the roof tops and besides people thinking I was crazy for the red-bullseye store no one would be the wiser. Next, I choose a pattern or modification system to use. I’m going to add the number of characters in the domain to the middle of my word and then write the first three letters of the site’s domain (with the first letter capitalized) to the end of my keyword. It may sound a bit tricky at first but after using it a couple of times, it becomes easy. When I setup my new Twitter login, I choose my username and then I create my new password. Starting with my keyword, target, I put the number 7 in between the r and the g. So now I have tar7get and then I add the first three letters of Twitter.com to the end of the password forming the new password, tar7getTwi.
Now I have a password with a number, a capital letter and I almost never use the same one again. It means that my accounts can be secure, I don’t lose sleep over the 20 million passwords I have AND it’s easy to “remember” or figure out the next time I go to that site.