Password Algorithms: Create and Remember Unique Passwords for Every Account
Like most people, I have hundreds of accounts for various websites, software, and services. Unlike most, I have a unique, strong password for each site – and can remember every single one. In essence, I take the name of the site, run it through a standard mental algorithm that also does a little encryption, and use that as the password.
This means I never have to use a password manager, have many unique passwords, and can even “guess” my password for accounts that I haven’t logged into in years. There are many security benefits to having unique, strong passwords for all your accounts.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Take the “title” or “name” of the website, company, or service – whichever jumps out at you first.
2. Choose a length.
Many sites will enforce a 6 or 8 character minimum, so I’d recommend something at or above 8 characters.
3. Begin the algorithm.
What you want, ultimately, is to use some of the characters from the site name, transformed enough to be difficult to decipher, mixed in with various other characters to form a strong, random, and yet recreatable password.
4. Fill in the blanks, using alphanumeric, capital, and non-alphanumeric characters.
Capitals, numbers, and non-alphanumerics greatly increase the strength of your password by using a larger set of choices. Keep in mind that these characters will be the same in every password you have.
I’ll add a caps and number that I’ll remember – 2EZ. Our finished password is: oy$#@!2EZi
5. Repeat, repeat, repeat!
Keep using this technique for all your passwords, using the same algorithm each time.
Be creative in your algorithm, keep the fact that you even use one a secret, and make sure the “variable” letters are tough to determine. If I host a random site called www.blah.com and I see your password in my database is “halb1234″, your algorithm will not be that tough to figure out!
Once you have put this technique to full use, upon arriving at a site, your account password is simple to recreate by using the same algorithm.