Passwords with a purpose

I hate passwords.  I have several at work that have to be changed on a regular basis and have restrictions requiring a combination of several features, such as minimum length, both letters and numbers, and suchlike.  A real pain.

Then I had a revelation.  Why not make the passwords work for me?  So now I use the repetition of these passwords to help me remember important details relevant to my research.  And best of all, because the passwords contain information important to me, I find I have an easier time remembering them the day after a new switch.  The IT crew should thank me.

Here's just a few ideas for inspiration:

  • Names of important historical figures, authors, place names (particularly with historic spellings) or book titles
  • Terminology that is new, hard to remember or hard to spell
  • Dates for important events, documents, important publications, or even bookend birth and death dates around a name.
  • Chapter or verse numbers, folio numbers for a favorite illumination or recipe number from a treatise

Use your good judgement and don't do anything that creates a breech of security.  Vary how you combine elements and whether you use digits or spell out words.  Throw in punctuation randomly for good measure.  Now enjoy how smart you feel when you can give a citation effortlessly!