Using a Seed Word to Generate Category Passwords

 I highly recommend organizing your online accounts into categories.  (If you need a refresher, here’s my original post.)

For sites which fall into categories 8 – 11, it is okay for your passwords to be similar to one another.  However, they should each have at least 3 unique characters and be no shorter than 8 characters long.  It is only for websites in these categories that I would advocate using the method outlined below.

This method uses a number mapping schema.  The complexity comes from adding the elements of the mapping schema into your seed word.  The mapping schema is something that can be repeated over and over simply by changing your seed word.  There are two  mapping schemas, one that has 5 elements and one that has 10 elements.  Here are samples of each:

  • 5 maps: Two numbers and one special character
    • 1 and % and 3
    • 2 and & and 4
    • 5 and ! and 8
    • 6 and # and 0
    • 7 and ? and 9
  • 10 maps: One number and two special characters
    • 1 and # and %
    • 2 and ^ and &
    • 3 and ? and !
    • 4 and * and +
    • 5 and $ and _
    • 6 and ~ and )
    • 7 and ( and >
    • 8 and < and @
    • 9 and = and –
    • 0 and / and |

How to construct your passwords:

  1. Start with a 5 character word as your seed.
  2. Capitalize the third letter.
  3. For each password within your category perform the following:
    1. Insert the first element of your map between the second and third letters of your seed.
    2. Insert the second element of your map between the third and fourth letters of your seed.
    3. Insert the third element of your map following the fifth letter of your seed.
  4. For your next set of passwords, choose a new seed word and repeat the process.

Now when you use these passwords, you need to recall your seed word and use your mapping, which can more easily be stored on your computer without compromising your passwords.

Example

  1. trunk
  2. trUnk
  3. Generations
    • Pass #1: tr1Unk, tr1U%nk, tr1U%nk3
    • Pass #2: tr2Unk, tr2U&nk, tr2U
    • Pass #3: tr5Unk, tr5U!nk, tr5U!nk8
    • Pass #4: tr6Unk, tr6U#nk, tr6U#nk0
    • Pass #5: tr7Unk, tr7U?nk, tr7U?nk9
  4. Next set of passwords
    1. phone
    2. phOne
    3. Generations
      • Pass #1: ph1One, ph1O%ne, ph1O%ne3
      • Pass #2: ph2One, ph2O&ne, ph2O
      • Pass #3: ph5One, ph5O!ne, ph5O!ne8
      • Pass #4: ph6One, ph6O#ne, ph6O#ne0
      • Pass #5: ph7One, ph7O?ne, ph7O?ne9

Be sure to make this password generation method, or any other method work for you.  Perhaps you would rather create a schema that uses one capital letter, one number and one symbol and simply add those characters to your seed word in specific positions, thats OK.  Or, there are only 6 or 7 special characters you feel comfortable using, create a mapping with only those characters!

As always, do not use the passwords generated in this or any other post as your password.  Also, do not use the exact mappings listed above!

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