I read an article the other day, reporting on some shocking statistics from a study by Accenture. They surveyed 800 American and British frequent internet users. It turned out more than half of them had only one password for all websites, web mail, online banking and other internet usages. The reason people give for doing so is easy to understand: its very hard to come up with and remember different passwords for all different sites.

This week, Google posted some guidelines on their Official Blog, on how to choose a good password and how to keep it safe.

In my business, I constantly have to come up with new passwords, for accounts and systems I work on for my clients or for my own use. Instead of being creative with new passwords, I use a tiny little tool on my computer that generates completely random passwords for me. It’s called Password Generator, and it’s free! You can download it here (PC only).

What this program does not do for you is remember which password you created for which site. That’s the second challenge. My web browser Firefox can remember them for me, and since access to my PC is protected by a password too (and that one I do remember of course), I feel it’s reasonably safe this way.

Update October 2009

Google have posted an article on their official Gmail weblog, with tips for choosing a smart password.