Use Nostalgic "Keys" To Encrypt Files And Remember Passwords

Reader Ron Adams liked the idea of a mentally encrypted password card system, because it's similar to one he's been using for years to encrypt files and give each one a secure but memorable unlocking key. Here's how his scheme works.

Photo by woodleywonderworks.

I use a different method that works well for my passwords. I've created four keys that I add to filenames. These keys provide me with my password. As a (hypothetical) example:

  • "#" may signify house number of a home address as a younger child. Let's say that address is "12131"... something I would remember.
  • "6" may signify the "aeolian" scale in music.
  • "pn" signifies a phone number back in the '60s that I remember... "FO34344"
  • "16" signifies grades 1-6 which is the name of my elementary school... "stanley"

So I place these codes in my file names. For example, I have an encrypted PDF called 6#16_ObeyObama.pdf. The password for this pdf is "aeolian12131stanley". Everyone can make their own keys, switch the keys to change the password. It works great for me!

Ed. note: Ron's system works particularly well for files, but for websites that offer to show "Password hints" or reminders or allow for custom usernames, his memorised keys might come in handy, too.


Comments

    @Posco Grubb
    haha HomeStarRunner win! I love that episode.
    **flagrant system error**

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