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Password Security 101
Use Unique Passwords

Why Use Different Passwords?

While remembering just one or two passwords is much easier than remembering many, never use the same password to access different computer systems. This is especially true for accessing various websites on the Internet. You cannot be sure your password is well-protected -- or even encrypted -- on any system you do not own. When a password in compromised, damage is minimal if the password is unique.

The problem we all share, of course, password management of many passwords. The best solution is to use your own secret method of creating passwords, which allows you to determine any of your passwords without writing them down. For example, you could combine the first letters of a common phrase with some elements of each host system to determine the password.

These passwords obviously are not as good as the randomly generated variety, but at least you don't have to write them down. Use your imagination: the more cryptic-looking, the better. The important thing is to use some method easy for you -- but hard for anyone else -- to reproduce. A good time to alter your method is whenever you are forced to change one password. Take the time change them all using your new method.

Another increasingly common way to manage multiple passwords is by using password management software. (This capability is even built-in to many popular applications such as the Firefox browser). Password managers have a few problems you should be aware of:

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