11 December 2008

Using Genealogy For Computer passwords

I don't know about anyone else, but remembering all the various passwords I have is crazy. And making up new ones always is a pain as well. This is especially true for sites that do not allow you to reuse passwords for a set amount of time. I've revamped my password approach as I'm tired of arbitrary ones that I cannot remembe and I don't want to use anything too easy.

So I went back to genealogy.

Sample "Grandma" was Helen Elizabeth Henry born in 1903. There are several passwords I could create from Grandma's name:
  • heh1903
  • helen1903
  • helenelizabeth1903
  • helenhenry1903

I go through various ancestors---not just Grandma using a similar approach. I do alter the naming scheme from one show here. If the site asks me for a number only, I either use birthdates of ancestors, old phone numbers, or other things that would be hard to guess. If Grandma Jones' old number was 231-456-7890, my password could be grandma4567890.

I particularly like to do this on those sites where I can give myself a password "hint."