Friday, April 30, 2010

What's the Password?

You know how just about every website and their brother now requires you to have an account so you have to come up with a user ID and a password and the password requires a minimum of 37 characters that must contain a mixture of capital letters, lower case letters, numbers and characters and when you've finally come up with one that meets the criteria you get a "sorry, that ID and/or password is already in use" and then you have to start the process all over again?  The type of password that is the best to have is something like this: "fy:23GT*9Xcxl" which is one pain in the butt to type in.  I think I'd rather have my account hacked than have to type something like that in time after time after time.  Oh, and you're supposed to change your password every time the seasons change to keep those hackers on their toes.

So you come up with a successful ID and password but because the password is so frickin' complicated (see above) you can't remember it long enough to write it down in your secret book that is filled with all your User ID's and passwords and if you ever lost that book your life would come to a screeching halt so you guard that book with your life but since your password doesn't work anymore you have to answer the secret question that is usually something along the lines of "What is the maiden name of your first pet and what street was your favorite author's elementary school on?"

As I may have mentioned, my new laptop somehow had all my files and internet bookmarks wiped out.  So I'm re-entering my bookmarks, one of which is my e-mail server and I have to enter my User ID and password to access my e-mail for the first time in, well, 2-1/2 months.  But here we hit a bit of a snafu.  For some reason, Verizon was refusing to recognize me.  No matter how many times I would put in my ID and password, Verizon would perform the Cut Direct.  I could totally sense Verizon looking down its nose at me and saying, "Do I know you?" and I'm all, "Dude, it's ME!  Don't you recognize me?  Hello!!!???" and Verizon going, "Um, no.  Sorry" and then they ask me to please move outside the Velvet Rope and stand over there with the rest of the Losers.  Again.

So, it's obvious I have to re-do my e-mail access stuff and luckily, I'm able to answer the Secret Question correctly and all I have to do is choose a new password.  Which turns out to be easier said than done.

Password after password was rejected as too easily hacked.  Finally, in my extreme irritation, I chose an expression famous in my family.  It's a Polish term that roughly translates to, how can I say this delicately, "Bite me!"  

And guess what?  Verizon rejected it!  They claimed that my Polish term was too easy to guess and therefore was a security risk that they just couldn't allow.

Dude, seriously?  I mean, I can see using a Spanish word might be too common and therefore easy to hack but POLISH?  Who knew Polish was such a common language here?

It was probably a good thing I didn't try using Yiddish because you know that Yiddish is such a widely used language someone would have been able to hack into my e-mail account in the blink of an eye.

I eventually came up with an acceptable password that met all the criteria of letters, numbers, characters and secret handshakes and immediately wrote it into The Book so that I wouldn't forget it.

I miss the Good Ol' Days when "password" was considered sufficient.



  1. Passwords make me crazy. I finally set up a spreadsheet and then had to password protect it and encrypt it and hide it and bury the evidence in a vault and throw away the key...blah blah blah. lol So I now have passwords for passwords. The world is spinning and I'm getting dizzy. Here's what my IT guy suggested for passwords. Think of a sentence you can remember (yeah, right) - then use the first letters of that sentence and substitute a number here and there for one of the letters - virtually uncrackable. This also assumes you will remember the sentences. snort. I hate passwords - I pretty much hate everything to do with technology today coz my smartphone is once again outsmarting me and I don't like being outsmarted by something I paid a lot of money for. gah...

  2. passwords are water board torture. I hate all the required special ones where you have to add a capital letter and a number and some Morris code. It's ridiculous. But, I do understand these days. I think there's a special place in Hell for the hackers and the spammers.

    Here's a case of the lowest of the lows: My husband made a donation for my March of Dimes Walk on their website. Shortly after, the fraud dept of his credit card called. They wanted to verify the donation because they said it's the newest technique in credit card theft. The scumbags go into charity sites and just start plugging in random numbers for a donation. When they finally hit a valid credit card number, they take the number and thieve away. Unbelievable.

  3. Kelly, I love you and I adore today's blog.......we are kindred spirits for sure, for sure.....I am thrilled to know you too have the Secret Book without which life as we know it would end......I never thought about that before...all over the world are poor souls like us who would have to drive off a cliff without their Secret Book....what a weird image !
    Blog on!

  4. Hello Kelly,

    I have just found your blog through that of my good friend Crone & Bear It. I love your post on passwords, it really gives me a headache trying to think of new ones as well.

    I too have a password book, hidden very carefully right next to my keyboard :)

    The only problem comes when I cannot read my own scribble - I'm just waiting patiently for this new fingerprint technology to take off.

    Nice to meet you Kelly,

  5. @Angel, welcome to my little blog!