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Comment Algorithm + Safe Deposit Box (Score 1) 402

Given that your minimum requirements are 1) having different passwords for each site, and 2) changing them once a month, it's probably a good idea to have an algorithm that allows you to come up with your password. The algorithm could take the name of the company/website and the current month (or month & year....something time-related) as inputs, do "something" with them (jumble, transpose, use your Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder Ring, etc) to get your password. You can also factor in rules for putting numbers, symbols, uppercase, etc. It just has to be consistent. Now all you have to do is protect the algorithm, not the individual passwords. The algorithm can be written down and put in a safe deposit box.

Using an algorithm can eliminate the need to write down passwords, unless your algorithm is so convoluted that you can't calculate it in your head. If you suspect that your algorithm has been compromised, just change it. Granted, websites have varying requirements (some take symbols, some don't), so it's not perfect.

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In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982