Saturday, January 14, 2006

Password Protected

My computer is lucky to be alive today. I was ready to kick it, slam it, hurl it, then leave it out in the middle of rush hour traffic on I-94. Since this was my work computer, that wouldn't have been good for either of us.

I'm sick of passwords. I can't remember them. When will they come up with voice recognition technology, ocular identification--heck, I'll even prick my finger and give blood for a DNA analysis rather than memorize one more password.

Twice this week I've run into password problems. First I was trying to check the balance on my credit card. But I couldn't get past the password on the computer. And this one I had written down! "Try all caps," my wife suggested. Nope. "Just capitalize the first word." Unh uh. "Maybe it's two words." No and I give up.

Then today I'm at work when I apparently typed the wrong password into a third party website. "Your password has been suspended," came the message. To re-instate my security access, it flashed a security question: "What is your favorite dessert?" What?? Do I have one? If I ever gave one to answer some security question, it probably was whatever I had for dessert last . . . years ago. Am I supposed to remember that??

I have the same password or PIN number for some of my banking functions. But that's not a good idea either. After I withdrew $20 out of an ATM machine, I discovered I had used my credit card, not my ATM card. I had the same PIN number for both. Let me tell you, that was an expensive withdrawal, or cash advance as the credit card company kept calling it when I telephoned them.

My father recently recounted the story of how he got wounded in Korea. Shot by North Koreans while driving a jeep in no man's land to retrieve mail, he and another GI had to ditch the jeep and find their way back in the dark. One problem, though. Neither remembered the password of the day.

So when they approached the area they thought occupied by our troops, they called out, "Battalion!" A voice from someone hidden close by replied, "Just keep walking down the road." My dad said he was certain that if they had kept walking without somehow calling out, they would have been ambushed again, this time by friendly fire.

So in a way my father literally couldn't remember a password to save his life. And it was probably an easy password. We received instructions at work recently that our password cannot be a common word. What is common they didn't say. I hope they don't mean swear words. I'll be in real trouble then.

16 Comments:

Blogger Me1issa said...

I'm notorious for using the same password for EVERYTHING. I'm totally screwed I know. But I can't remember passwords either and if I did think to write one down, I'd loose the paper. Yup...screwed.

9:40 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

The best password is "password" -- except for bank accounts. For those, use 12345678, because it's easy for me to remember.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

I have four different passwords at work. Four. And, the distirct won't let you change them. I did exactly what you're not supposed to do, too. I wrote each one down, and it's in my desk drawer. That'll show them.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

I used to have a bad habit of using the same password for everything too. Then I had the identity theft thing come up, and afterwards I was inspired to have different passwords.

6:58 PM  
Blogger WordWhiz said...

I have only a couple of passwords so I know it's one of them and can likely hit it by the third guess and avoid being locked out. My problem is those damned ASSIGNED passwords. I lost my ATM card and the new one came with an assigned PIN that I can't change. I carry it in a hidden pocket in my purse because I know I will never remember it. And what, pray tell, constitutes a not common word???

9:05 PM  
Blogger Trucker Bob said...

And I thought I was the only one.

Nice to have company. ;-)

8:02 AM  
Blogger poopie said...

I try to use the same one, but some smartass always makes me put a number or something in it and that blows my system ;) I'm with you on the voice recognition...doesn't sound like much of a stretch in this day and age.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Gypsybobocowgirl said...

I've got a system, but sometimes I still get stuck. And the assigned passwords are a waste of time.

What is really sad is that I have forgotten my password for the Diebold (drug dispensing machine) at work. Lucky I'm mostly a bean counter these days, or my patients would suffer serious pain due to my lack of memory for passowrds.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

I'm thinking seriously of using "alziemers" for my password on everything, only thing is I'm never gonna spell it the same twice in a row.

10:47 PM  
Blogger bornfool said...

I use the same password for everything. I know that's not the secure way to do it, but it's either that or write them down and that's not secure either, plus i would lose whatever i wrote them down on.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Nankin said...

YUP! I tired laundry and detergent one time, but could never remember if I was coming or going.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Gabe Talaga said...

There is a program you can get to store all your passwords securely. The only problem, you need a password to access it.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi Dave, thanks for letting me know that you were #7000 and yes the counter is accurate.
Who ever would have thought about 9 months ago that my waffles would have attracted so many visits?

4:12 PM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

Why on earth don't you know your favorite dessert, Dave? Mine is Pavlova, after the ballerina. Tiramisu is a close second.

How about those basketball SPARTANS?!

8:03 PM  
Blogger TEACHER SOL said...

"I'm sick of passwords. I can't remember them." I used to have the same problem, until someone tipped me that I can use the same username and password most of the time. Now I only have 2 usernames and 2 passwords to remember *smile.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

滿..................................................

12:42 AM  

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