In the past I’ve taken the very secure approach to passwords by having the same one for everything. As I have to change most of my passwords for work every 90 days I even had trouble remembering that one password so I made sure it was a recognisable word (usually something childish and inappropriate that would make me laugh such as ‘pooping’) and threw a number in the middle somewhere so the checkers wouldn’t block it. I’ve since (i.e. today) seen the error of my ways and decided this really isn’t good enough, particularly for someone who works in the IT industry and really should just know better.
I figured that with my special memory even improving this technique very slightly would leave me in the dark so I decided I’d need a tool to help me. Given that I’ll be using a tool, I decided I may as well go the whole hog and have a different, auto-generated and complex password for everything. Then I found Revelation, a password manager for the GNOME desktop. It seems to be a really neat little app that can store, generate and quality check passwords. It even has a handy little tray applet for quickly copying a particular password into your clipboard and other useful bits and pieces.
Of course the major drawback to this approach is that if I lose the file containing my passwords I’m screwed. So now I have something else to backup. This might seem like a bad thing but actually it meant that I improved my current backup process too. That’s even less interesting that this post so I won’t go into any details 🙂
Having said and done all this, I’m sure that even if all my passwords are the same, no-one would ever find out one and then try it in a million different systems. But man would I look like a prize idiot if they did – so just in case I’ll stick with it.