Monday, July 27, 2009

Except everything is forgettable...

For me these days.

How to improve your pathetic passwords. (They are too!)

Start with an original but memorable phrase. For this exercise, let's use these two sentences: I like to eat bagels at the airport and My first Cadillac was a real lemon so I bought a Toyota. The phrase can have something to do with your life or it can be a random collection of words—just make sure it's something you can remember. That's the key: Because a mnemonic is easy to remember, you don't have to write it down anywhere. (If you can't remember it without writing it down, it's not a good mnemonic.) This reduces the chance that someone will guess it if he gets into your computer or your e-mail. What's more, a relatively simple mnemonic can be turned into a fanatically difficult password.
Which brings us to Step 2: Turn your phrase into an acronym. Be sure to use some numbers and symbols and capital letters, too. I like to eat bagels at the airport becomes Ilteb@ta, and My first Cadillac was a real lemon so I bought a Toyota is M1stCwarlsIbaT. [More]
Of course, I'm hoping the wrong way on this one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I admit my passwords suck. Mnemonics are no help if you don't have a memory. I have a form of dementia that is supposed to be temporary, as a side effect of medical treatment over 4 years ago. Can't remember my best friend's phone number, which hasn't changed in 20 years. Just call me "wrote it down"!