Too many passwords

How many logins / passwords do you have?
How do you remember them, or otherwise keep track of what each password is?

I have somewhere between 50 and 70 logins / passwords. I’m not sure of the exact number, because once I wrote down the first 40, every few days I kept thinking of another place where I have an active (if rarely used) login.

I have 3 passwords at work that I use on a daily basis; two of them change every few months, and I use random text on a piece of paper filled with random text. The third is on an isolated development network with negligible security.

I have a few “standard” passwords that I use in many places with minor changes appropriate to the site.

But any site I don’t log in to for months at a time? I have to reset the password each time.

I’m considering buying the password manager gizmo at ThinkGeek.

Someone one the board suggested using song titles. Onward, Christian Soldiers, marching as to war yields ocsmatw for example.
I suppose you could reuse passwords in some cases.

I just keep a password protected Excel spreadsheet to store and find them all easily. That way I only have to remember 1 password – the one that gets me into my password file. Simple.

I have the following passwords on my work computer:

[li]The one that gets me into the laptop once it’s turned on;[/li][li]The one that gets me into Windows;[/li][li]The one that gets me into Lotus Notes;[/li][li]The one that gets me into my client file database;[/li][li]The one that gets me into everything else.[/li][/ul]

That’s five passwords. Two don’t need to be changed at all; the others are on a varying schedule. I can’t recycle them and no two can be the same. Throw in the fact that I get logged out of half this stuff if it times out, and I end up spending more time logging into stuff than I do actually working.


At work, I do the same thing Shayna does, and file them all in a password-protected spreadsheet. I also tend to change them (when required to do so) using a very similar keystroke pattern, so most of them follow the same keyboard-centric formula.

But at home, I have over 100 passwords, and I use RoboForm to generate and store them. If you’re a Firefox user, there is also an add-on called Sxipper that purportedly serves the same purpose (I have not used it).

For the passwords I’m required to change frequently, I just use the same “root” password and change the numbers I place before and/or after the alpha characters, keeping track of where I am in the sequence, also on a spreadsheet, though it shows only the numbers, not the letters, so no one would ever know what those numbers were used for (the file isn’t even labelled anything telling).

There’s a cheaper alternative (free is an excellent price, I’ve found) I’ve used for years now and wouldn’t be without:

Any Password

Enjoy :smiley:

I use a doctored algorithm a Computer Ed teacher told me about to make monthly variations on all my 50+ passwords. It takes the root form of a word and then alters it with a Norwegian sub-fix or pre-fix depending on the month. I have about eight words, all of which I know intimately and have easy links to remember, and I rotate these between sites on a schedule.

That’s for work-related or important stuff, though. For most of my recreational passwords, I have a set word I use in root form with a numeric variable between sites. I don’t register for a whole lot of new sites, so it’s fairly easy to keep track of.

I use this (also free): KeePass Password Safe

That’s what I do only I have Excel 97 so I have to hide the rows first before I protect it. I can’t stop someone opening the file but I can protect the layout.

I also put it on a 3 1/2" floppy so that it’s not on any of my computers.

What I use to do at work was write the new passwords down on a sticky and keep it with my laptop. The labtechs would see this, shake their heads and laugh.

My God, too many to count at least a dozen. At work I have to access a government web site with supposedly confidential information, it requires 10 characters three must be in uppercase, at least two numbers and two special characters like %,* etc. It is a total mess and if you make a mistake putting it in the site will lock out your access and you have to re-register and that takes about a half hour. Most sites will give you another chance but not this one. To make matters worse the password changes every month! :mad: :mad:

My trick for passwords is to combine a name and a year, preferably unrelated except in my mind. For example, Glenn Miller was one of my mother’s favourite bandleaders, and she was born in 1913, and she died in 2007, so combining those gives me g1l9e1n3n or m2i0ll0e7r or other variations. (No, I don’t actually use anything I just mentioned as a basis for a password; in fact, I’m paranoid enough that I just lied about my mother’s birth and death years.) Anyway, they’re easy enough for me to remember, but they’re tricky for others to guess because they’re alpha-numeric, and the connection between the number and the name is not obvious. It works well for me.

Wouldn’t that make people more inclinded to store their password so they can cut-and-paste it?

I feel your pain, Scuba_Ben, but nowhere near your madness. 50 to 70 logins?! Wow!

At school, I have about three logins - one is quite funny in that the programmers screwed up the basic function and misspelled the name of the school! So now, everyone has to login with the misspelled word followed by the forward slash and then your password.

One of our teachers is so fed up with having to change our password every month that he has openly told all the instructors his password is FUCKYOU followed by the two digit month…so in July, he will be FUCKYOU07 and in August FUCKYOU08. Like he said, “As if anybody on earth gives a damn about reading the stupid emails they send me…”

I have to agree with him and, amazingly enough, the only site where I can still use a simple four digit password after all these years is, of all places, my Bank Of America site!

Other sites, that are meaningless and useless, require jumping through hoops, but my bank only needs four digits! Go figure.

I have never bothered to count how many logins I have, but the number is high. However, I have one basic login and one basic password that I use wherever I can (with variations, when necessary). I know this breaks The Big Rule, but whatever: it’s my stuff, and my password is completely un-guessable. (Seriously.)

Still, with so many logins it can be hard to remember where I’m “Misnomer1” vs “Misnomer2,” so I send myself an email when I create a new account somewhere and then I tag/file it under “Logins.” I use Gmail, so if I need to access an online account I can usually access my email (or at least my email via my BlackBerry), and I can look up anything I’ve forgotten. Same for variations on my password, or for unusual logins.

I have a Mandylion, but it’s kind of a pain to use. I’m going to spend the $20 to get the non-trial version of e-Wallet for my phone when I get around to it and keep all my passwords on it. I have a bad habit of using the same few over and over, and that’s a really bad idea. My husband gave me *The Look *when he found out I was still using our simple, easily-hackable password for gmail, even though I get a lot of invoices, new account info, etc. sent there.

I kid you not. Most places I use a five-character login ID, but some of the places don’t permit it. Many of those use my email address, but not all of them. So one of my issues is remembering which site uses what ID.

As for how many, here’s my count from a couple of weeks ago:

7 on the job, of which 3 I use every day.
15 financial / utilities / PayPal.
8 frequent-customer, opinion, traveler sites.
14 Internet / message board / online game accounts, including the SDMB and my ISP.
And one desktop root password.

Total: 47. And I’ve counted some more since I made that list.

Just checked my spreadsheet where I keep all my info, and I have 116. Yes, 116.

For example, I have multiple Google and Yahoo accounts. I also manage a bunch of web sites so I have the logins for their servers and e-mail and various apps that are hosted on them. I also have logins for numerous web sites (such as the SDMB, social networking, blogs, news sites), etc. so on and so forth.

I have 65 of them.

Many of them are “normal”. That is, if you’re a male you start with the model of your car, and if you’re a female or a male who doesn’t get excited about cars, you start with the name of a pet. You add some numerals at the end, and when something forces you to, you increment the digits.

“Use uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numerals. Use them in an order that does not have any meaning. Do not use the same password for multiple purposes. Change your passwords frequently.” This oft-repeated advice will keep your data, computers, and accounts very secure. It does so by preventing you from ever getting into them.

I have ~200 logins with passwords. I keep them in a program called ‘SplashID’. Pretty good encryption. I use a utility at work to crack passwords on excel spreadsheets. It usually takes only a minute or two to do so. So, I’d never put important logins or passwords in there. I don’t even put my full passwords in SplashID. I use a code word instead to remind me which password to use. eg. <previouse job>9. Which means it was the password I used at my previous job with a 9 at the end of it. The previous password is complex, so is unlikely to be cracked easily.
For passwords that require changing frequently, I use the same complex base (actually I have two base passwords, one for important stuff like personal finances and another easier one for work that requires multiple entries in a day) password and then just add digits for the date. Because many password won’t allow you to reuse a password for x amount of times you have to be smart about this. eg. <password>802. The 8 is the year. The 02 represents the month. You can’t use just 2 because it would repeat within the year. Using a base password plus the date makes it easy to remember when you last changed it. So, if you went on vacation in June you know your password is likely to be <password>806. As most logins give you a few tries if that one isn’t correct, you know it will most likely be the number 805 indicating the month before that. Simple, effective, and gives you a way around the security nazis.