Monday, March 30, 2015

i need a password for my passwords

For fun, I added up how many passwords I have across my work and personal spaces. 32. All different lengths with different requirements. None of them with my son or pet's name. Some with capital letters and some are meaningless strings of number/letters.

I bet you have even more.

I panicked on Saturday when I could not remember my son's phone number. Or the code to get to my phone messages. (which is eerily similar to the code for my grocery account) I opened a letter with my new business VISA which told me to use the code for my old VISA which I don't think I ever received. To top it all off, Skype wanted my account name which is not my email address and thus I had to cancel a call with a mentoree while I tried to reset the (locked) account.

This could all be part of my aging brain simply... aging. Or it could be that I'm in password overload. If I had a real brass key for every password, my belt would sag to the ground with the weight of the large rings of keys that would dangle - possible tipping me to one side unless I evened out the load around my whole belt (which would probably drag my pants to the ground).

I know there's a point to passwords. I'm not convinced there's a point to having so many in all their glorious variations. I have a password 'vault' now that keeps them for me... unless I'm on a different machine .. or logged on under a different email address...

Remember when passwords were associated with 'spies?' Or used as a safety word when one partner was ready to leave the party? (Say "carrots" and I'll still go fetch my coat) Having a password used to feel slightly sexy and grown up. Now it just feels like a spelling/number test that I will fail every third time and fear like a pop quiz. Gone are the days when we put our social insurance number on forms for anyone to see. Gone are the days when we knew our personal phone messages were not so important that they had to be guarded like secrets. It's not necessarily bad that those days are gone but cyber-security still needs to evolve to feel less like we're getting locked out of our own information and more like we are able to file it away in a sensible fashion?

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