A Fool Proof Way To Remember Thousands Of Passwords Effortlessly

One of the most common headache that people are facing is to remember the dozens of passwords associated with every site. What most people do to simplify the matter is to use one single password for all their acounts. To make thing even simpler, an easy to remember word is used as the password. It is not surprising to see that ‘password’ tops the list for the 10 most common passwords. Some of them trying to be smart, put a 1 behind the ‘password’ (which means ‘password1’) and pray that the hackers are not as smart as them to come up with such an ‘ingenious’ idea.

The problem with using the same password is that once someone finds out your password, all your accounts become instantly accessible by third party. If someone cracks into your Amazon.com or Paypal account that contains your credit card information, the result is going to be devastating.

How can I remember so many passwords?

In programming, a secure way of storing password in database is to use salted hash. A string of words is used as the key (also known as ‘salt’) and append to the user entered password. This newly formed password is then hashed using md5 encryption and the result is stored into the database. To illustrate, a user entered ‘password1’ as his password. The script then appends a salt known as ‘iloveyou’ to the password which results in ‘iloveyoupassword1’. This password is then encrypted to produce a random string ‘228e4011b6afbevge44e3d787d606407’ which is then stored into the database.

Now, how does all this apply to you?

This is simple. Using the same concept as salting, you can generate thousands of passwords easily. Using one base password, what you need to do is to append the site name to your password. For example, if my base password is ‘iloveyou’, then I can set the password for my Yahoo email as ‘iloveyouyahooemail’ and bank account password as ‘iloveyouXYZbank’. In this case, you can generate different password for different sites. And since your password is long and not a word found in the dictionary, it will be difficult for hacker to crack it.

To make your password even more secure, you can use a mix of number, upper case, lower case and special characters for your base password. ’15@gdH34′ would be a good base password. Some websites only allow 8 characters password, so you might have to play around with your base password to control the generated password length.

What I have listed here is only one of the way you can use to generate passwords. You are free to experiment and set your own rule. If you have some interesting ways to generate passwords, do share it here.

11 comments

  1. Brilliant! This is such a simple tip, but so easy.

    I may have to employ this method in the future.

  2. @ZuO: Thanks for your tutorial. It’s great.

    @Michael & Adam: Sometime, you just need to put a twist to it and things suddenly become very simple. What I dislike most is those sites that allowed only 6-8 password length. It’s really restricting your choice of password.

  3. @Damien: I hate that too. Or websites that don’t let you use a strong password. Why can’t I use characters other than letters and numbers?

  4. This is an elegantly simple solution, but still just a bit too much memory work for me, I’m afraid — I’m just too darned lazy to try to remember more than 1 password, so I’ve been using the free Clipperz service — 12-bit encryption and one-click direct logins from the Firefox sidebar. Until someone comes up with a kind of thumb-print ID technology or such, in lieu of passwords!

  5. I know this is old, however, I found this while researching how to log into Vista using a bat file (go figure).

    Anyway, my stance on passwords: completely random, unrelated to me. I don’t remember any password, besides my GMail password, as it’s rather pointless.

    Firefox + Password management addons = Encrypted passwords that are entered on websites for you (thus, avoiding any key loggers on your system as well). [Also, if key loggers is your fear, KeyScrambler is a great program with a free version I think which encrypts keystroks at the driver level (very secure).]

    • Michael, thanks for commenting.

      What you are doing is effective only if you are using your own computer and user account. If you are on the move and have to check your mail in the cybercafe, you will have problem accessing your account.

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