- if you are not a security freak, write them down
But then guard the paper! There are many tales of people in offices putting passwords on post-it notes on their computers. Makes it very easy for anyone walking past the cubicle to crack their accounts ...
- have only a few different passwords for all your accounts (I use only 2: for my email account and Pay-Pal I have a good password, for fora and other that cannot be really severely misused another one)
Dangerous recommendation. If a bad guy gets hold of one of your passwords, they can use it other places. There are so many tales of websites losing control of username/password combinations that this is not an idle problem. It’s best if websites store them as hashes, so they can’t effectively be stolen, but many websites don’t do this. (I believe CFI’s system actually *does* do this, which is why we can’t recover a lost password!)
IF you’re going to use a small password set, re-use passwords for low-security logons like fora. Problem is, many of us may use higher security sites more often, e.g. banks, PayPal, stores that have our credit card info on file, credit card companies, etc. That’s a lot of passwords to remember.
- if you are a security freak, use a password safe (several good free programs around; you only have to remember one password, that of the safe, the rest is encrypted in your safe: but then you must make backups of the safe! I personally like ‘Keepass portable’ (yes I know, that’s Windows…), you can keep the program and the safe on a memory stick, copy it to the PC, use it on other PCs etc)
This is the solution I’m most in favor of, but you will need to pick a long, strong master password to keep everything safe. I’m a big fan of Lastpass for keeping passwords. Works like a charm, stores everything as hashes.