These days many people have numerous online identities. One may be having many email Id's, online bank accounts, official logins etc. etc. One of the major problems that one might encounter is how to manage all this and most importantly how to remember so many different passwords and Id's?
You many not have much choice in choosing your ID. Assuming that you do get the login ID that you wanted or you are able to write your ID details for various websites in your personal diary, it may not be prudent to write your passwords also along with those Id's. The chances and incidences of identity thefts are very much real and one must take utmost care to ensure the secrecy of one's login accounts. Therefore a safe password management strategy requires that a password should:
- Be a combination of letters, numerals & symbols.
- Comprise of UPPERCASE & lowercase letters.
- Be UNIQUE for each login account.
- Contain 8 or more characters.
- Reside in your memory. You need not put it in writing somewhere.
If there were only 8 to 10 passwords, it would have been easy to manage. But one may need to remember hundreds of passwords these days. Moreover there may be ATM PIN (generally 4 digit numerals) to remember so that you can handle ATM transactions easily.
Now all of us can do that. You don't need to remember any specific password. You don't need to write them down anywhere. You can literally remember hundreds of passwords through this method. The secret lies in creating a formula to generate the password. You will only need to remember the formula for generating password. Once you do that you will automatically create or recall the password needed at any particular account login. You only have to keep the formula to yourself only.
Things You'll Need
NOTATIONS USED IN THIS ARTICLE
P = Password
F = Your Favourite Word. We will use 'dilbert' here. It could be 'yourname2082' or any other word that you can easily recall.
W = Website Name/E-Mail Client Name/Chat Client Name/Blog Name or even Document Name etc.(e.g. yahoo, ebay, outlook, ICQ etc.). This is the place where you need to create/use the password for login.
(A) ABSOLUTELY EASY APPROACH (NOT RECOMMENDED)
CREATE just one password for all login accounts. Here P = F
(B) SIMPLE APPROACH
• P = F + first letter of W
Therefore your login passwords for different websites become as below:
yahoo > dilberty; ebay > dilberte; outlook > dilberto;
Alternatively your passwords may look like:
• P = first letter of W + F + last letter of W (for example ydilberto for yahoo)
• P = F + W (for example dilbertwehow for wehow login)
(C) BETTER APPROACH (RECOMMENDED)
P = F in capital + keyboard symbol corresponding to number of characters in W + first letter of W + number equivalent of last letter of W
Suppose you want to create login password for your yahoo mail account i.e. W = yahoo
• F in capital = DILBERT
• symbol corresponding to number of characters in the W = % (number of characters in W is 5 and keyboard symbol on 5 is %)
• first letter of W = y
• number equivalent of last letter of W = 15 (last letter of W is o which is at number 15 in alphabet sequence)
Therefore P = DILBERT%y15
(D) BEST BET APPROACH
Initially the process might look a bit scary for the beginner. But remember that you have to create just ONE formula for your needs. It is far easier to remember only ONE formula that can generate hundreds of passwords for your need than to remember individual passwords. This way you will also be able to create most secure passwords for yourself. Sometimes you may think that every login password might not be worth the effort required to create or recollect it. In that case you may choose to create two sets of formulae. One relatively easier one for your routine needs and the other, a bit harder for your special need. Above examples are simple indications to create formulae. You may work out your own special formula in the similar manner. There is on end to the kind of formula you may go on creating as long as you feel comfortable. The general caveat however is that you should keep it simple and should not use more than 2 to 3 formulae at a time.
Some websites require you to change passwords every 15 days or so due to security reasons. Every now and then you try to log in you have to change the password. I find that kind of thing very irritating. So what do I do.
First I create a reasonably secure password (15 - 20 characters long) based on formula. Let us say the password is DILBERT200278citibank. Then I mentally divide this password into two halves and let us say that would be DILBERT and 200278citibank. Now whenever I am required to change my password I simply change DILBERT200278citibank to 200278citibankDILBERT and back again to original password the next time. One can repeat this thing any number of time. Similarly your bank website may be requiring 2 or 3 levels of passwords for log in, transacting funds transfers etc. You can apply the same strategy here also.
BANK ATMS OR 4 TO 6 DIGIT NUMBER PASSWORDS
• Choose your favourite one or two digit number. e.g. I choose 76.
• Suppose your bank's name is Federal Bank. I take 'F' from this. The number equivalent of F is 6 or let us say 06. Then my ATM code could be 7606 OR 7066. Instead of F you could also choose 'L' being the last character of 'Federal'. The number equivqlent of L is 12 and your ATM PIN becomes 7612 OR 1276 OR 1762.
Though I have revealed this password management strategy to many friends, this is the first time that I am putting it in the shape of an article for everybody's use. I hope people will find it useful.
Tips & Warnings
- You should not use more than 3 formulae to create passwords.
- You may write down your formulae in your personal diary for your convenience.