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The whole concept of computer passwords is impeccable as a theory but complete rubbish in real life. How many of you use the same passwords for everything? Exactly. And why?

Because, unless you keep a very long list of all the passwords you might possibly need, there is no conceivable way you could keep them all in your head. Oh, and if you do keep that list handy, chances are that a password thief will find it all too easily as well. Especially if you've Blu-Tacked the list on your screen or even in a 'secret' password-guarded fi le in your computer's memory.

So what do you do?

There are some basic tips.

One of the most useful is not to use words you could fi nd in a dictionary. Apparently, it takes current code-cracking software mere seconds to run an entire dictionary past a gateway, and only a little longer to check out words that have been displaced one or more places in the alphabet, or words that have had numbers and capitalisations inserted.

Creating strong and memorable passwords is actually quite easy, as Fred Langa describes at www.informationweek. com/ story/showArticle. jhtm l? articleID=164303537.

But how do you remember them all? I wish I knew.

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