Team Hack #7: How to Make a Team Password System

It seems like my life has a thousand passwords. Between bank pins and software passwords, how in the world can I keep them straight? What is worse, is that I work with people that put passwords on various accounts and computer software. How can we get both security and sanity from this process? Two authors I have read this past week have written on this subject: (Gina Trapani of and Mark Frauenfelder at Gina’s suggestions on passwords, in particular, take the sting out of the process of security. She has the right idea for how a team can know what those beyond the team will not know.

Her idea was to take a random set of letters like “a-s-d-f” and add to them the extension of three letters that are the first letters of the service. For instance, if the service provider is “Earthlink” the password can be “asdfear”. If the service provider is Google, the password is “asdfgoo”. The team can all easily recall the access code, but it will be meaningless to anyone else. I have found a variation of this system can be good for your marriage as well. It helps to have good communication before you get to the bank and have to use a pin that hasn’t been used in a while. Since in many countries I travel to the pins need to be all numerical, I have a simple system that uses the same principle.