the bane of our times
virtual keys to data
needed for access
...If I am absolutely opposed to a password manager. What else can I do?
While we stand by our recommendation to use password managers, we understand the urge to reject placing all your trust in the hands of another company. So here are a few alternate methods for choosing more secure passwords than the random hodgepodge you’re likely working with now.
- Split up your online services into major groups, such as bills, entertainment, shopping, and social media. Assign a single password to each group according to a theme. For example, you could choose movies as your theme and assign quotes from one movie to one group, or character names from a second movie to the second group. Rotate these passwords every 90 days by incrementally adding a number or changing a character. This requires a lot more effort but is still preferable to using the same password across all accounts or having to reset forgotten passwords every week.
- Choose one semi-difficult password for all accounts but insert a naming convention in the middle of the password to denote which account you are signing into. For example, if your password is L3tme1npleaz, your Gmail password could be L3tme1nGMAILpleaz. Your Amazon password could be L3tme1nAMAZONpleaz, and so on and so forth.
- When possible, choose a service that has two-factor authentication over one that does not. More than 150 applications currently implement two-factor authentication. You can check them out here.
Passwords don’t have to rule your life. You can lock them up behind a password manager and worry about remembering a single, slightly complex phrase instead of 27. You can relax knowing how well guarded your passwords are. And you can go ahead and burn that secret list of passwords you keep in your address book even though you’re not supposed to.
Do you have a favorite password manager? Or a method for creating and remembering unique passwords? Let us know in the comments below.