I Think I Remember…
PASSWORDS – LOVE ‘EM, HATE ‘EM, CAN’T REMEMBER THEM. All I can do is forget them.
The discussion this morning at my Play Group (St. Arbucks morning coffee) was all about computer passwords and all of our problems with them. One of the Usual Suspects who shows up every morning for coffee and pointless conversation was wrapped up in mind numbing problems remembering his computer passwords. The ones he could recall were no longer in use and it was bringing his life to a screeching halt.
I tried to help. He’ll get over it and resume speaking to me eventually.
The more we connect with the Internet the number of needed passwords increases and there are also an increasing number of scoundrels around the world trying to crack those passwords to gain access to our accounts. It is a never ending battle to protect our security against the assault of these baddies.
Back in the “Good Old Days” – 1985 or so, everyone who used computers had only one password. Most of us used our dog’s name even if we didn’t have a dog. However, as the commercial aspect of the Web grew so did the need for additional passwords. Our kid’s names, favorite sports teams, and our dog’s birthdays came into play. That worked for about twenty minutes. Something had to be done to stymie the crooks from hacking into our Amazon accounts and ordering a gazillion dollars worth of stuff.
I once had someone from Germany try to bust into my Facebook account. Why I never understood. I keep no personal information there other than my disdain for the LA Dodgers and that has no monetary value – unfortunately. I find it personally satisfying, but…it’s a long story.
I have read that “The Experts” – also known as the “They” in “They say…” say that we should change our passwords on a regular basis – just like our socks. That is good advice, on both things, but it has made the whole mess more complicated. Eventually I came up with my own solution. I made a quick trip to the Dollar Store and spent a buck to buy a little pocketsize notebook. I made a list of all those online places that needed password protection and I neatly wrote down all of those “Open Sesames.” That backs up my feeble memory so that I don’t have to constantly be hitting that “I forgot my password” button on every site.
Most people have progressed far beyond using “Fluffy” as their password for everything, but that has
caused that memory problem for us all. I knew one fellow whose passwords were strings of 20 letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. It was effective at stopping hackers, but it also drove him crazy as well. After a while his memory got the better of him and drove him into the Dollar Store too. He increased his passwords up to 25 characters just because he could. It all fell apart when his mislaid his notebook.
I never said it was a foolproof solution.
I despair of there ever being a completely secure way of stopping those larcenous scoundrels from attacking our online world. If you have any ideas on what to do please let me know.