Use your own brain to generate and manage passwords

Safest vault to store your passwords is your own brain. Now if you could use it to generate & re-generate strong & a unique password for each of the accounts, services and software, you are saved of all the hassles with password managers. You can try and design an algorithm to generate a long enough password, which includes all the ingredients (upper case, lower case, numbers & special characters) of a strong password.

Most such algorithms start with picking up a base component which will be used for all the passwords. Then the base component is mixed/padded/prefixed/suffixed with a component which is specific to site or account for which password is being generated. Base component can be created by connecting first letters of a phrase which is easy to remember.

One such simple, step by step algorithm is described neatly by Loren Baxter in this blog post. This will give you a good idea on how this can be done.

Yaara Lancet also describes some interesting techniques at her post on makeuseof.com.

Get creative and design your own unique algorithm that should be complex enough to generate a password that is difficult to decipher and simple enough to recollect and regenerate the same password again and again for a given website. One little problem with algorithm based passwords is that, some weakly managed sites limit the characters you can use in a password.

My recommendation if you’re going for this approach is to refrain from a few things:

  • Don’t design your scheme around a website URL. A URL may change down the line and you may not be able to recollect the password based on it.
  • Try to have at least 2-3 different schemes for different sites. You won’t like to be in a situation where a weak site leaks your passwords letting hacker access all your important account as they just know the only scheme you are using.
  • Try and not to base your scheme on keyboard motor patterns as it may be difficult to reproduce on different keyboard layouts on various devices.

Lastly, I will leave you with few videos from various security experts to help you design your own easy to remember password generation scheme.

Another video from abc7.com which explains Password Haystacks concept in under 3 minutes.

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