One password to rule them all...

Do you frequently find youself locked out of a site... coz you can't recollect the exact user name and password you used the last time for this site.. If yes, this is the post for you.

Problem: You go to a million sites, each one asks you to register and you end up with a zillion userid-pwd combinations to remember.
Now there are diff levels of security you need..

  1. e.g. if you use a online news service or email, you'd use one userid-pwd.. you dont care what it is as long as you get thru and you are able to retrieve your preferences and no one else can get at it.
  2. if you shop online you need a higher level of security coz they have your credit card number
  3. then there are sites that you dont know why they authenticate you.. but they do.

So now you can

  • have 3 diff pwds for these levels.. (or use a single pwd for everything... which is just asking for trouble.)
  • Or you can write everything down on a Post-it or a secret notepad file etc.. (a remote login or a login from another machine would break this scheme.. you need to carry that paper with you always.. For the record: writing down your password or persisting it somewhere is almost always a security risk.. bad idea)
  • Or you can create a lot of username-passwords and then do mental match the following each time you need to log in...

OR you can be smart and get to know PasswordMaker (

Solution: What it does.. It takes the name of your website and a pwd from you. It then generates a hashed pwd using the above 2 inputs. So each time you visit the password, you just fire up the firefox addin (one of the forms in which the goodness is wrapped) and type in this key pwd, it will regenerate the exact same pwd for that site each time. Copy and paste it to the pwd box and Off you go!
No more waiting at the login box!

You can tweak the settings to generate the pwd.. but then you need to remember the exact settings each time you use passwordmaker.. e.g. if you decide to login via the online version of this tool from a new machine.

Pretty Nifty app this. Highly recommended.

Found about this from the podcasts from (It's a new site for people who don't have time to read and need good answers (rated by others) fast. Jeff Atwood ( and Joel Spolsky ( are behind this one.