The Secret Life of Passwords
The New York Times magazine takes a sociological and anthropological look at keepsake passwords—the passwords we keep that have some hidden, personal meaning.
Why do we imbue passwords with meaning? Memorability, for one. But Andy Miah, a professor of science communication and digital media at the University of Salford in England, suggests there’s something more.
Keepsake passwords, he suggested, ritualize a daily encounter with personal memories that often have no place else to be recalled.
Most keepsake passwords are horribly insecure. You’re safer if you use an encrypted password vault like 1Password to create and store unique, ranomly-generated passwords to protect your accounts, but even if most of your passwords are managed by software, you still need to memorize one master password, so keepsake passwords are likely to endure.