Use Random Passwords Which You Can't Remember

Written 8 years ago by Mike Cardwell

If you use the Internet a lot, or even a little, you’ll find yourself signing up to various websites. Most of these websites will want you to provide them with an email address and a password. In the, “olden days,” I used to use the same set of passwords for each of these websites, so that I could remember them. When I became more security conscious I started creating a new password for each service. I could no longer remember them all, so I started storing them in an encrypted file. A while ago I started to get annoyed at having to maintain this encrypted file each time I signed up to a new service, so I came up with a new solution.

Whenever a website asks you to create a new password, select a random text field or the address bar and mash the keyboard. Copy the result into your clipboard. Paste it into the “Password” and “Confirm password” fields, and then forget it. The first time you log in, it will be in your clipboard so you can paste it in. Then just tell your browser to remember it and auto-fill it in future. On the rare occasions that you need access to the raw password, just use the, “email me my password” link, or equivalent.

Your response might be, “but I use multiple web browsers on different machines!” Ok, that might cause problems for you, but not for me; I use XMarks, which automatically synchronises my bookmark and password stores between each of my machines.

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