Let's say I am following good security policy and picking passwords that are:
- Complex (passphrases where possible, otherwise random strings with special characters)
- Unique (completely independent for different sites/things)
- Changed regularly
Let's also say that for this particular set of passwords, I do not feel comfortable keeping it written down or in a database like LastPass. We are only using good old fashioned memory.
What's an effective way to remember several infrequently used passwords? For example, one could conceive of the following naive algorithm:
When you set a new password, take a sheet of paper Repeat 100 times: Write password on paper (while spelling it with your internal voice) Fold that part of the paper so you can't see the password When finished, destroy the paper
How can this be improved upon? Do you have experience with similar methods, which can be applied quickly at the time of creation of the password, to memorize it?
To restate the problem: You have decided that you will not store a number of passwords anywhere other than your memory. These may be passphrases, or they may be strings of random ASCII characters, or even 4-digit PINs. They are always randomly generated and periodically changed. The passwords will be used infrequently (perhaps once in a few weeks or days), so usage alone will not be able to ensure retention. What do you do to make sure you won't be hitting the "forgot password" link in a few weeks?
As per the good subjective question guidelines, please try to provide answers that are:
- In-depth rather than short
- Ideally draw on your personal experience
- Explain the rationale behind your method (if you know of any research regarding the effectiveness, even better)