You can also choose a simple password for all websites requiring one, and then simply append a different salt. You can keep track of salts by means of post-it notes, a Word file, or a note on your smartphone because of itself it won’t mean much.

For example let’s say I choose a password that’s really easy to remember like MyRedh@t1. Here I’ve covered all the usual bases (Upper case char, lower case char, integer, special char). This is for my bank. So on my phone I note down: bank3,-1.

What does this mean? It means that I take my usual password and the first character is moved 3 places forward, the second is moved one place backward, and then repeat. So MyRedh@t1 for my bank credentials becomes by a simple process of transposition PxUdh!w0. Sure, it’s not the world’s hardest-to-crack password but it’s close enough and it’s easy for me to execute without having to write it down somewhere. So now I have a password for my online banking. I can use the same password for my LinkedIn account merely by altering the salt and noting that in my phone: LN2,-2 and applying this different salt to the password I use for LinkedIn to yield OwTcf&ym. (these examples assume a US qwerty keyboard; your mileage may vary). I can also select a generic alternative in the event a website won’t accept special characters, and note this with the salt, e.g. SW (safeway)5,-34 (meaning use integer 4 in place of special character for this website).

In short, although passwords are actually a pretty awful way to secure an account, everyone demands them and using different salts on the same password means I need only remember a single password and can write the salts in plain view because unless someone can (i) determine my original password, which because it’s so easy to remember I never write down anywhere, and then (ii) steal my phone, and then (iii) understand the meaning of the seeming gibberish in my notes, they can’t easily hack it. Which leaves brute force, but there’s nothing any of us can do about that now that cloud computing is so readily available.

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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