Monthly Archives: July 2013

Passwords…

Passwords…they are such an important part of our technologically driven world. We need them to safeguard and use our computers, cell phones, tablets and other electronic devices.  Terms such as “shazam” or “open sesame” or even “abracadabra” come to my mind.  Think “genie in the bottle” kind of passwords.  However, for those of us who have short term memory issues, remembering a password is a challenge.  Never mind multiple passwords for multiple accounts. I once worked in an office that required employees to change passwords on a quarterly basis.  I never did and no one ever noticed.  So much for workplace edicts. 

 

I have my “standard” password that I like to use. This password is a term that is an integral part of my life, yet it is an uncommon word that one wouldn’t think to use.  It works for most of my “accounts,” like for comments sections where I usually blast the article or commentary written and it will suffice for some of the utilities accounts.  It is a simple one and that is part of the problem, it is a simple. 

 

Now I understand that for security reasons, some passwords must have upper and lower case letters have a number or some symbol and be of a specific length. This can be annoying, especially if the caps lock on the keyboard is stuck.  I cringe at the sight of “case sensitive” when one is entering their special word to access their account.

 

Since I am also one of those people who have “selective memory,” (I remember useless and trivial stuff at the wrong time), I write all my passwords down on index cards and keep them together on a metal ring.  I also note the date that I “opened”  said account on whatever website it may be.  I share this stack of index cards with my husband.  He knows that if he has to access the gas and electric bill on the utility’s website that the password will be in the batch labeled with both our names.  Never mind that all the accounts are in his name, I am actually the person who goes on the site to pay the bill, or check the household monthly usage or whatever else one does on utility company websites.

 

While I admit that this isn’t the most secure way of managing passwords, it works for me!  My husband has a system as well.  He has a folder in his computer aptly titled “Passwords.”  Now this is a great system until he forgets the password to actually use the computer.  That event HAS come to pass, and well, let’s just say that I now also write down all of HIS passwords on an index cards.  My system is looking better all the time, isn’t it??

 

To add to the items that are now clogging my brain, let’s add in the “user name” for some of the world’s websites. I have fairly common first name in America; at least it was in the mid-1960’s when I was born.  The utility companies use merely request a valid email, however there are lots of sites like “Pinterest” which require a user name AND and email.  Let’s not forget the “comments” sections of news (and pseudo news) sites.  Some only require and email and a password, but those sites that use Disqus as a moderator, require a user name, a password and screen name.  Haven’t I done enough thinking up a password of acceptable length and using the appropriate mix of letters, numbers and symbols? Apparently, I have not.

 

My solution is simple: I use my full name (see, I told you I like simplicity!). However, it’s not the English language version.  I am fortunate enough to have a name that fully translates into a little used language in Europe (thanks Dad!). I type in that “name” and voila’ I have a user name!  Woo Hoo.  Now, I realize that this won’t be helpful to all the Sallys and Sues and Toms and Harrys, but hey, it works for me.

And from my perspective, problem solved!