How many passwords do you use for your social media, forums, college, bank accounts and such? Probably more than a few if you are concerned with privacy and security. However, do you use more than a single password which results in forgetting some when you need them? This memory burden is why people often use a single password throughout many services. And once that password is hacked, other accounts go down with them. Here’s a simple method I use to discourage myself from using the same password but still is easier to remember.
I use “passwords based on levels of importance” for the service I use. If it is financial service I use a long complicated password with complex symbols, uppercase/lowercase combinations, for a personal email account I would use a different combinations of words and letters and symbols and for say an online forum that I rarely use or view I would use a much simpler password. However, the part that makes it easy is they are a derivative of the same password.
For example, the easiest password we are going to use is “waiwai1“. Easy to remember but not going to complicate your essential accounts if they are ever compromised or hacked. For a site, you want an average level of security you are to use the same password with an added complexity. A variation could be “Wai$wai321“, you have just modified the first letter to upper case, added an “$” sign and reversed the first 3 numbers. That modification is not that hard to remember, right?
For an account, you want the most security you could add even more complex symbols. Let’s go with “WaiWai$%^901“. Here you have changed the case of both “W” added the symbol “$%^” which are shift alternative for “456” on your keyboard and 901 is your favorite number.
- For forums/one time signups/promotional offers: waiwai1
- For sites that handle a little more personal information: Wai$wai321
- For personal emails, work emails, finance/bank accounts: WaiWai$%^901
Now, this is just an example. If you can you can have a few more levels to what suits you and you do not have to use the exact method. There are many variations you can come up with as you figure out how simple it is to remember them. As you use the pattern to remember the password, when going through a login you just have to consider how important is the site for you. Then you automatically remember which password might work. Although for the best security using a password manager application is an option to create super strong passwords. You can probably use the method for sites with lower risks of compromise meaning if a hacker were to get one of your password, it would not match with your other private accounts on a different level.
Although there’s a possibility that everything can be compromised with a lot of brute forcing and may be social engineering, this takes the load off of me to remember what password I am going to use for a new interesting site I found or what password I might have used. You can have a few variations of the every level of complexity, so even if one of the sites is hacked, other sites are secured. Because based on the type of site, importance and valuable data it contains, I can assume which password would work.
This method has served me with years of comfort and may serve you as a means of securing your online accounts. This, however, is not a sure certain way to secure your accounts, but even password managers are vulnerable to exploits, and many events referring to hacked password managing services. So having your mind do some randomization works in your favor.