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Tech Helproom

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Best way to invent passwords


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Hi - I read an article somewhere recently which recommended using the same password (made up of symbols/numbers/upper and lower case letters) but followed by the site where they were being used, as in 4cT2>]bank, 4cT2>]pca etc.

Is this a good idea, or am I missing something blindingly obvious?

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Likes # 0

I think of an easily remembered phrase which has relevance to the site and combine it with a date or year, use a capital and add a symbol.

eg Tesco and 1984 use

groceries are from Tesco = g1a9f8T4!

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wee eddie

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Assuming that one has a Password, that is too hard to guess with ease, then one will have to assume that Your potential Hacker will resort to using Software to crack it.


All these Changes in Case, use of Punctuation Marks and other Symbols will only delay him between 20 seconds and 5 minutes, maybe 10 minutes if he's less than competent. To be candid, there are easier Marks around and he'll probably have moved on by then.

I use a combination of an ex-Girlfriend's name and the Number of the Car that I had when I was going out with her. There have been many Cars and quite a few Girlfriends over the years.

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Phil Ocifer

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I use a word I picked at random from a book. As it happens, it had 8 letters and had no personal meaning to me or family. 8 chrs is just about long enough for most purposes.

The next step was to substitute one or more letters in that word for numbers, so for example in the word substitute I might change the letter i to the number 1 or the letter s to the number 5. Still with me?

The next step is to add a 3 number suffix to the chosen word, e.g.123 or 100 or 555 etc.

Use this sequence coupled with a different set of 3 figures for each different site and write down the site name, your username and the associated 3 figure number in your notebook (or in your head if you're really brainy).

Set yourself aside a particular number, e.g. 555 and use the sequence and this number for ad-hoc logins or where you don't have your notebook. You now know this number off by heart and you can change it in user details when you get home to your notebook.

For sites that require a regular password reset, just increment that number by one each time you change. Usually that is enough. If more diversification is required, try changing two or three numbers.

Just lately I have been coming across a few sites which require a capital letter in the sequence e.g. iTunes, so I just added the capital letter from my forename to the end of the sequence.

Hope this is understandable. It's really quite simple when you get it cracked down to basics.

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Forum Editor

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It's not too difficult to devise a system that makes sense to you, but maybe not to others.

All of us have, or have had people,places, or events in our lives that are meaningful, and are not likely to be easily forgotten. It's a simple matter to turn these into alpha-numeric passwords, and by adding a random numerical string make them very secure indeed.

The trick is to make a password secure enough, yet at the same time ensure that you don't get so clever that you forget some of it, when it's time to enter the password. Frequent password changes are simply a matter of adding an identifier to the numerical string that relates to the month, or the week number in the year, or both.

I use three basic passwords and amend them in this way. The different passwords are used in different contexts - two for business and one for personal matters. I've done it for years, and it's worked perfectly, although for safety's sake I keep an encrypted record of the passwords in a secure location, just in case.

This is a very handy, secure little application that you can run from a memory stick on any computer.

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Likes # 0

Thanks for the suggestions. At present I have everything on Roboform, but I remember, FE, that you said you wouldn't save passwords online. Do you mean your personal password for everything would be, say, p6c68a183 (and adding 01/02/03 for Jan, Feb,Mar)?

I seem to have overdosed on passwords, user names and logins...

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