Managing complex passwords

So I was recently silly enough to suggest that people have a unique complex password for each website and account that they have. Since making this recommendation, a number of people have asked me, ‘how on earth do you remember that lot?’

So, here is a potential solution to this little problem…
Firstly, select and memorise a complex password that contains upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Right, so you’re going to find it difficult to remember S5£amzB92!. So you need to come up with a memorable solution and there are a number of ways to do this.
One way is to simply pick a word, stick a capital letter on the front, a number on the end and a final number. It kind of works, but ‘Password1#‘ doesn’t really cut it. So the next evolution is to start changing things around a little. For example, swapping numbers for letters, like a 0 for an o. This gives us Passw0rd.
Next we need to introduce a symbol. So how about Pa$$w0rd.
Now we need to make it unique. This can be the the tricky bit, but how about using something from the website you are accessing, for example the two letters, and putting them on the front of your password. This might give us a Google password of goPa$$w0rd, or a Yahoo password of yaPa$$w0rd.
All of a sudden, we have a complex and unique password that is easy to remember.
OK, so you might want to give a little more thought to the original basic word. Another method is to take a passage of text and use the first letter from each word. For example, there’s a famous song called, “With a Little Help from My Friends (Beatles)”, so this might give us ‘walhfmf(b)‘. Change the l for a 1 and you have your easy to remember base password… wa1hfmf(b).

OK, so it’s not exactly straight forward, but it is slightly more secure than using the name of your favourite pet for every site you have ever visited.