My Advice: Just use a Password Manager
For years I have advocated using long, memorable passwords using a variety of different memorization techniques. Humor, repetition, common suffixes, memorable phrases, and other methods are great for creating long passwords that are easy to remember.
But now my philosophy has changed: now I say just go ahead and use a password manager and generate long, random passwords for each online account.
While I still use my own easy-to-remember passwords for sites where I often need to enter passwords manually, the bulk of the passwords I create now are long, random passwords that LastPass generates for me. Even five years ago it was possible to manage and memorize ten or twenty unique passwords, but the world has changed and it is not uncommon for a typical web user to have dozens if not hundreds of online accounts.
With so many large web sites becoming victims of public account dumps, it is now more important than ever that you never reuse the same password anywhere. Tools such as LastPass or KeePass make the process of creating, managing, and entering passwords so simple, there is hardly any reason not to use one of these tools.
Yes, you can come up with fancy patterns or methods of creating unique passwords for each site, but it just is not worth the effort and pattern-based passwords tend to be shorter than they should be. Passwords are more vulnerable to attack than ever; you should never create a password less than 10 characters but use 20 or more if the system lets you. Managing this many strong, unique passwords is almost impossible to do now without the help of a password manager.
Yeah, I kind of miss making new clever passwords, that was always the fun part of creating new accounts. On the other hand, it is still kind of fun seeing how long a password each web site lets me create. My record so far: 128 characters, and it was a dumb recipes site.
Tags: advice, eff, password, password manager, password managers, Passwords, random, remember passwords, strong passwords, techniques, Tools