Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Use strong passwords; use sound memory enhancement tips

AOL and walletpop have a piece this morning on how to remember strong passwords. More often, services are encouraging users to change passwords frequently and to use strong ones: at least one lower case letter, at least one upper case, at least one special character, and at least one number. Sometimes successive passwords cannot resemble one another too much. This is particularly true on corporate networks. The link is here.


It’s true that it is easier to resemble sequences of numbers than digits one at a time. A healthy brain can memorize about seven characters in one attempt, although remembering them after distraction can be a challenge. Neurologists give tests based on this idea to detect early signs of short term memory loss or dementia.

The article uses “1492” as a sequence that can be remembered easily (since it is the year Columbus arrived). It’s better to use sequences that have personal significance that others are not likely to discover; even use of birthdates carries some risk. Something like the grades you got on your semester exams, for example, may make for a less public sequence for personal memorization. For letters, more obscure characters in books or movies (if they aren’t too well known) might be a good choice. (But don’t use “harry potter” as a pw sequence.)

Here's a video on memory tips from Illustream, on the "Videopedia". It's called "Make your Memory Mighty".  (Sorry, that's not "Shy and Mighty".)  The direct link to "5min.com" is here. (For some reason, the provided embed code does not work here in this blog on my network.)

Here's a YouTube video from "How to Improve Memory":

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