Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 10th Nov 2012 07:28 UTC
Bugs & Viruses If you want to ensure you have adequate passwords but don't have the time or interest to study the topic, there's a useful basic article on how to devise strong passwords over at the NY Times. It summarizes key points in 9 simple rules of thumb. Also see the follow-up article for useful reader feedback. Stay safe!
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UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

Me too. That's one hell of a skill he's got. I have to maintain a few text files to keep track track of my passwords; partially because I've got so many, but also because they're all pretty long and complex, and many of my important ones are similar but subtly different so they couldn't be used across accounts even if they were cracked.

Then again, I never made an attempt to remember my passwords and I tend to just use the web browser's password manager most of the time. The main exception here is on my phone; I would never store any passwords on a computer I take everywhere I go that I could easily lose, forget somewhere I go or have stolen.

That said... I am considering eventually attempting to remember my three Google account passwords, because it's kind of a pain when I am automatically logged out for my protection and I'm basically locked out until I get home to check my password files. ;)

By the way... any Google users, if you have important data on your account, it would be a good idea to use Google's two-step authentication. Works with any phone, though probably best with a cell phone (text message) or, even better, with the Google Authenticator app.

Edited 2012-11-11 04:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I had an eidetic memory as a child; I remember being able to read an entire encyclopedia page and recite it back with about 95% accuracy at six years old. Unfortunately it started fading away as I got older. I still recall a lot more than the average person after reading a passage or string, but it's a shadow of what I could do as a child.

Still, it's good enough to remember important alphanumeric strings. My limit is about 35 characters, give or take, and it helps if it's a pattern that I recognize. That's why I use the VIN/license key combo; I deal with VINs daily at my full time job and reinstalling Windows 98 every few months made it easy to recall that key. I also tend to memorize phone numbers, my credit and debit cards, and other pattern based strings very easily.

Reply Parent Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Damn. It took me almost a year to remember my cell phone number with enough reliability that I would not screw it up when someone asked me what it is (and I still occasionally get confused or my mind goes blank). ;)

Back when I was toying around with Google Voice earlier this year and I was considering giving it a try, the ability to choose a certain area code and even a string of letters when picking a number was really appealing to me. I'm just horrible with remembering phone numbers. Even if there are only 10 possible digits, the phone number itself is ten digits long, and likely only the last seven digits will likely be unique.

It was so much easier years ago when I was younger... the area code was always the same, the following three-digit prefix was always one of only two or three three possibilities, and the last four digits were really the only ones that were different. Now cell phones seem to rule the country, and while the area code tends to remain the same it seems that every cell phone provider has a different prefix (and some of them seem to be getting more than one these days in my area).

I know what you mean about the Win98 (and later XP) registration key though... I used to have mine almost (but not quite) completely memorized for the same reason. No idea what they were now, though. If I am forced to enter something enough times, I'll eventually remember it (or at least parts of it) whether I want to or not.

Edited 2012-11-11 07:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2