Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Password Dictatorship

Today was Surface configuration day.  Vana and Dayton had purchased a Surface for Mom and Dad, so today I was helping them configure it. 

The challenge becomes the password.  In the spirit of privacy and security we are encumbered with password choices - but not really a choice.  After two or three attempts, I finally read the small print - requires 8 or more characters using lower and upper case with a minimum of two alpha, numbers and one special character.  Also the any derivative of your name was not allowed in the password. That's no choice! That is Password dictatorship! .....  and guaranteed to be forgotten.

Add to that the irritation of trying to remember your old passwords.  Yes - we are all alike - written on some scraggly piece of paper in not particular order are all the user ID's, passwords and special things we are asked to record upon sign-up of a web site or warranty agreement.  That paper is faded with several things crossed out (when the site mandates we change the password).  In fact, it's not one piece of paper it is a collage of varies sizes of paper, yellow stickys etc.  And in that collage it is impossible to find your password.

Now to increase privacy a choice (five or six available) of a secret (or sometimes three questions) questions are needed.  AND even more security is a phone number to be texted with a special code in case a new and unfamiliar device is accessing the site that is not recognized (too bad for those people without texting capability).

So where does this all lead?  Another piece of paper or entry into your password collage and more wasted time trying to get access a harmless, non critical web site.

PS - My prior password rants:  August 11.2012 Is it really you?
                                                  April 24, 2012   Password Please
                                                   March 1, 2010  Password Please

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