Simplify your Complex Passwords using Walter's easy to remember "seed" method

2
June

Password best practices are to use a password which contains at least 8 characters with “Complexity”

Complexity requirements per Microsoft recommendations are that Passwords must contain characters from three of the following categories:

  • Uppercase characters of European languages (A through Z, with diacritic marks, Greek and Cyrillic characters)
  • Lowercase characters of European languages (a through z, sharp-s, with diacritic marks, Greek and Cyrillic characters)
  • Base 10 digits (0 through 9)
  • Nonalphanumeric characters: ~!@#$%^&*_-+=`|\(){}[]:;”‘<>,.?/

You should have a different password for every website. For good security, you ought to change those passwords regularly.

So how do you do that and still keep track of your passwords?

For many, a password manager is a good option and there are several.  Dashlane.com, Lastpass.com, Roboform.com, and Keepass.com among others are popular choices that offers free and low-cost solutions.

Personally, I do use a couple of those products, but I also use a system that allows me to remember my password and yet have a different password for every login that I need.

I would like to share my system with all of you.  I call it my “Seed” Password system.  Of course, the following are not my actual passwords but are for illustration purposes.

This consists of a secret seed value that only you know.  This seed is used for every password.  Then I choose the same special character that I want to use.   Finally, I will choose and identifier and the version of the specific password for the login that I need to use.  It may seem complicated but you will see why it is simple and easy to remember.

Start with a Seed value.   I chose my seed value to be “Jet”.

Then add a special character, I will add one special character before my “Seed” Jet,  For this example I will use $Jet

Now that I have my seed value $Jet, I setup a password for Facebook.  For Facebook, I choose “F” as my identifier and the year “17” and version “a”.  So for Facebook, my password is $JetF17a.  When I change my Facebook password 4 months  from now the “a” will change to “b” so my new password is $JetF17b.

Next year I will change my Facebook password to $JetF18a.   Note that with a 3 character “Seed”  I now have an 8 character password that meets the recommended complexity requirements.

Using my “Seed” method for Twitter.com I created $JetT17a for my Twitter password and created $JetA17a for my Amazon.com password.   Now I can easily guess my Twitter password in a few tries because I only have to guess the year and version of the password as the first part of the password was easy to remember.