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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

The Encrypted Pocketbook of Passwords

How many of you have separate passwords for each website that you access?  Not many, I bet, although security experts all say avoid using the same password over and over again.  The problem for us all is remembering different passwords without committing the dreaded sin of writing them down.

Well this little book encourages you to write down your passwords so you don’t need to remember them, except that they are not the full password.  Each one has a single, simple, secret key that is not written down but kept in your head.

I started using this useful little book almost as soon as I got the review copy.  It guides the reader through the basics of how to create a good password but with a twist. It enables you to have a separate password for every online account you hold and not have to memorize them. You can write them down in this book and even if someone else reads it, they won’t be any the wiser.

It seems to cover almost everything. There are a couple of points that aren’t covered that I have found from experience. Most sites expect you to use a password of at least 8 characters but a few old-fashioned ones have a max of 8. I have also found sites that don’t accept special characters. Either of these issues might limit your choice of password but this does not seriously affect the value of this very handy book.

Of course there are sophisticated on-line password managers where the complete passwords are stored in a secure way.  The latest of these YOLO as in “you only log in once” intended for Android users.  Others are available from Dashlane, LastPass, 1Password, Roboform and Google’s Smart Lock among others.  Hmm.  For those who may have a sneaking feeling that hackers might get into computerised password managers, use pen and paper such as this book. After all, a notebook can’t be infected with malware.

Norman Bartlett

The Encrypted Pocketbook of Passwords By Raef Meeuwisse, pp112,

published by Cyber Simplicity, £6.99

ISBN 978-1-911452-08-9