There are several ways to organize and maintain your passwords. I recommend associating each online site with a category and then use a systematic approach to the complexity and frequency of changing your passwords based on the data held behind the password.
Here is my category list, starting with those needing the strongest passwords, diligent maintenance and greatest protection.
- Credit Cards
- Bank Accounts
- PayPal and other online payment merchants
- Retailers where you have saved your payment card information
- Secure Websites (those that begin with https://)
- Email accounts
- Social Networking websites
- Sites linked with your primary email address
- Sites linked with any other email addresses you use
- Sites that are not associated with your email address, but nonetheless the account is still associated to you
- Any other sites where you have a username/password
When you categorize the sites you use, be sure to note any extra security features such as a site key, a pin, or https. Also note those sites which you feel comfortable visiting on a public computer or unsecured wireless network (avoid going to sites listed in categories 1 – 5)