Everyone knows that you should never write down you passwords. But what if there was a way that allowed you to write them down and yet remain secure?
According to the people behind a service called Password Card, there is. It works along the same lines as a couple of commercial offerings that have been around for a while, but this is free.
Here’s how it works. First, head to www.passwordcard.org and generate your own unique card. It will look something like the one in the picture below. Print it, laminate it, and keep it with you all the time.
Now decide on a password length and direction. For example, we’ll decide that our passwords will be 8 characters, and use every alternate character in a horizontal direction. Commit these 2 facts to memory and you’re ready to start creating passwords that are perfectly safe to write down.
Let’s say that you sign up to a new service and you need a password. You simply choose 3$ as your password, and that’s what you write down. Using the rules we decided earlier, about 8 alternate characters in a horizontal direction, 3$ becomes 65VnK8RZ. That’s your password.
If anyone comes across your written-down 3$, it will mean nothing to them. If they find your password card, it’s useless. And even if they find both pieces of the puzzle, they won’t know the rules that link them.
This is a fairly novel, radical idea that isn’t suitable for everyone. But for some people, or for certain situations, it’s a really neat solution to an age-old problem.