Several months ago I decided to start keeping track of all my accounts that required a login and password. Since I first posted on this topic in September, I have created a list with 60+ different accounts, all requiring a login and password. I’m in the process of consolidating and/or purging accounts wherever possible, starting with email. In case you’re wondering how, or why, I have so many accounts, below is a small sample of the different types.
- US Bank
- Canadian Bank (personal and professional)
- Savings/Retirement accounts
- Credit Cards
- Frequent Flyer mile programs
- Cell phone
- Administrator sites for blog and website
- Email subscription service
- Web hosting service
- Memberships with professional organizations
- Personal (3 separate accounts)
- Professional (4 separate accounts)
As part of my anal-retentive management of these accounts, I feel pressure to come up with unique passwords for each one that are both easy for me to remember and difficult to hack. Over the years I have developed different techniques to create passwords which have been fairly successful, even when I have to remember a password that I haven’t used in over a year.
My preferred method is to create a pattern that I can apply to create each password. Then I only need to remember one pattern that I can use 60+ times. Every 12-18 months, I come up with a new pattern and change all my passwords. Once the new pattern is established, I update my passwords as I use them so the change happens gradually.
I have had more difficulty in devising a system for creating and remember logins. This is mostly because logins tend to have more creation requirements than passwords. Some logins are my email address, while others are a portion of my email address, or something completely different.
To learn more about general recommendations for passwords, go here Tips for Creating Unique, Memorable, and Secure Passwords.