Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Your new password

I was fed up with having a zillion passwords. Worst of all, we don't have any insight into what kind of security the websites you access employ, so happy anarchists like LulzSec and Anonymous can run away with your master password if you're not careful.

So instead of a password, I ended up with the following algorithm;

  • Second letter in the domain name (Or last letter), in uppercase
  • Constant part. Starting with one or more captialized letters, ending with a digit. 6 chars or more. You may choose to look at http://www.baekdal.com/tips/password-security-usability for this bit.
  • A digit 1 (increase this for sites that require password change)
  • The number of vowels (or consonants, or [A-F] or whatever in the domain name)
  • First letter in domain name, lowercase


The constant part should probably contain at least one "special" character like % { or whatever, simply because sites may start requiring this. But think about accessibility for this character on phones etc.

A couple of key points about this algorithm: All digits are grouped together, as for capital letters. Some devices (iPhone etc) require additional touches to switch to upper case or numeric keyboards, so group them together.

The "domain name" is the last word before .com/.org.

I keep the constant part about 6 chars, to make 10 digits total. You might consider going for 12 total.

In some places you may be likely to give away your password (this may happen to me at work sometimes). In those cases you can use a different constant-part or simply a totally different password, at least I always know these things up-front.

Think it sounds like a hassle ? I feel the hassle every time I encounter a site where I haven't used this pattern yet, you get used to it.... This password should be strong enough to last the rest of my life. (Lol, I know that's not going to happen).

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