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The Passwords of Life

I know I’ve mentioned in the past that one of the things that defines the era we live in is the incredible use of passwords to do even the simplest of tasks at work or at home. 

Computer screen showing password log-in
Computer screen showing password log-in (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

I have to tell you that it’s getting more and more frustrating to remember them unless you are one of those that uses the same password for everything.  That might not be a bad idea but I am so far past that stage I could not imagine going back and re-setting them. Plus at work I have passwords for at least a half dozen different things and in most cases I was issued one and did not have a choice.  Also the problem with using the same password for everything is that if someone gets a hold of it they have free reign over your life.

I did a quick calculation and came up with more than 30 different things I use that have a password attached to it.   Many of them are fairly common: bank account, cell phone account, insurance company, on-line publications, AOL, Facebook, Twitter.  All require a password and I have many different ones and often forget which one goes with which account.

The rule of thumb is your password should be long and easy to remember but something that an outsider would never connect to you…it should also contain letters, numbers and even symbols.  Of course you want to avoid things like your birthday, children’s names, and phone number and even with a strong password you may get hacked at some point.  By the way the average person reports using a password for something 10 times a day. I’m way above average when it comes to that.

One of the other suggestions I read is that you change your password fairly often…even the thought of that gives me anxiety.  You mean just after I’m finally able to match passwords with the right things you want me to change them?  This is actually more important with sensitive matters like your bank and credit card accounts than say something that allows you to read articles on line.

For those who worry about forgetting passwords and losing them there are companies who do that for you online and they guarantee security.  Getting back to the part about your password not being something that others would connect to you.  How about “Ilovetheyankees27” or “romocowboys9” or even “Iwearsocks*?”   Just a thought.


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