Heroes often encounter situations where they cannot speak freely to their loved ones or other heroes. Come up with a list of situations where codes or passwords might be necessary, and examples of the kind of codes you could use.
A healthy dosage of paranoid helps with this part of a secret identities.
Visiting relatives, tapped phone-lines, police investigations (only an idiot thinks it can't happen to them) can all be handled question/response. I plan to start every conversation with a 'are you clear to talk?' code, then adapt with predefined terms. Example terms
Job: could refer to my mundane cover
Work: is superhero business
Letters and messages left on phones are trickier. You have to assume everything is intercepted and you only have one shot to get a clear message through. Fortunately my family knows enough stories/movies about codes and messages a reference to the story could stand in for the whole code. For example: If I said I'm out with a friend called River. That's a reference to River Tam from the series FireFly. That character sends a code to have her family break her out of a government lab. With the simple name 'River' I've sent out an urgent S.O.S.
The main problem is keep the code/phrase secret, since I've posted the River Tam example, it's no longer secure to use. I better go think up another one.
A Hero does not work 9-5, because villains don't either. Being a hero means any attempts to make plans, appointments, or dates should be considered carefully. As seen in popular media time and again, it is an attempt at maintaining a personal relationship that presents the biggest challenge. So when the Hero gets advanced warning of a threat to the public, he will have to let his or her intended romance know the the date is likely to be spoiled.
But how about when worlds collide? Hero was just put on alert. The bad guys have a dirty bomb in the city, and it is date night. Hero has a duty, but wants to protect romantic partner. Must protect secret identity, both for the Hero's sake, and for everybody close to the Hero.
"Hello," She says when she gets the Hero's phone call.
"Just listen, I have to change our plans," The Hero tells her.“Just Listen” Hero's code to let romantic partner that he has something important and sensitive to share.
"I'm listening," She answers. She indicates that she is ready to listen for the message
"I got a call from a client about a bad system crash. It will be a big job." Simple code for called to duty for a big threat to public safety
"How big?" She asks. Late date big or no date big?
"Big enough that we can go out of town for something special," The Hero says. Out of town... Hero is telling her to leave the city.
"A picnic in the country?" How serious is it?
"More like something you will want your overnight bag for." Get your bug-out bag and go, now.
"That big of a job?" She asks. Are you sure?
"Just don't get too excited, but maybe a surprise might be in the future," He answers. Stay calm, and don't tell anybody.
“I am going to start getting packed then. You be careful,” She tells him. I understand.
Situations: When someone is in danger When identity is compromised When it's a trap When someone needs help When you're not sure if the person is who they say they are
Codes: Morse code Random phrases (i.e. saying hello means danger, hey means help, hi means all good) Alibi code Passphrases (i.e. did you see the show last week = something's come up, etc.) Any Random Code (i.e. "Dan is coming over, looking for lil sis" where 'Dan' is Danger, 'lil sis' is those being protected, and this means danger comes looking for friends and family etc.)
SuperHero Alias: The Baron.
Powers: Teleport objects and entities through shadows.