Monday, 1 July 2013

Passwords

I won't use that overused expression and say they're a nightmare, but they come pretty close. My sons in particular get exasperated because I cannot for the life of me remember them (the passwords, not the sons).

I've just had to make up a new one (the "forgotten your password" link was just made for me). The instructions are to "make it hard to guess and not use personal information". But if I do that, then it's hard for me to guess, and so I forget it, and the whole blessed cycle starts again.

And then just when I've chosen a really good one, I'm told to include extra capitals and numerals, and make it even more forgettable. But I do like the way it checks that I'm me by asking me the name of my first pet (I can't tell you, of course, except that she was a rabbit and next door's dog got her). That little personal touch makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Aaaaah...

14 comments:

  1. Hi Frances, I have a little notebook dedicated to all my passwords and usernames, and without which I would be lost!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you keep the notebook well hidden, Rena, and that you remember where you put it!

      Delete
  2. You do know that the answers you give to those questions don't have to be true? No way my husband could remember some long ago pet's name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It the answers didnt have to be true, I would NEVER remember them, ER!

      Delete
  3. I'm usually pretty good at passwords and routinely include capitals and numerals. But one does need a formula if one is to remember which password relates to which site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aaah...perhaps that's where I'm going wrong, Z!

      Delete
  4. I have a little programme attached to Safari called 1Password that remembers them all for me, all you have to remember is a master password. It will create a lovely random nonsense password and store it for you and fill in the boxes for you when you revisit a site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brilliant! I'll have a look, Martine.

      Delete
  5. Like Rena George, I keep a handwritten list of my passwords. That list is safe - firstly, because hardly anyone can decipher my handwriting (including myself sometimes), and secondly, because no-one knows the hiding place for the list.
    Of course, that list won't be of any use if I need a passwort to access some account or other from my mobile (something which is risky enough in its own way), or while at work.
    But the work password is stored in the notepad feature of my mobile phone, and it's part of a list of notes so it's hard to guess what on this list is just a reminder for shopping, or a recipe, or actually a password.

    One way of creating passwords that DO contain personal information (so that you can remember them) but are still hard to guess for anyone else is this:
    Think of a sentence that relates to you, for example "My name is Frances and I have three children." Now just use the first letter of each word, replace the number by a digit, keep the full stop at the end and, hey presto, here's your brand new shining password:
    MniFaIh3c.
    I'll bet you any sum that no spybot will randomly find this (they are often set to look for words that can be found in dictionaries, and rows of numbers such as 123).
    The phrase could also be the line of a favourite song of yours, or from a poem; as long as you'll remember it, it's easy :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's an idea, Meike. But I'd still have to remember the original sentence...

      Delete
  6. Martine has the solution Frances. I've used 1Password (the app sits on all Apple platforms including an iPhone or iPad and if you update one it updates the others automatically) and a Swiss (free) cloud based bank site both of which store all my password and bank accounts information and, in the event of my untimely demise it is all made available to my nominated next of kin on proof of that demise. Obviously one has to remember a master password (i use a sentence with words not found in a dictionary nor place names). You will say that is a lot of trouble. Losing your bank account passwords or whatever is even more trouble.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's that master password that bothers me, GB. I've just this mornng had to look up (I'd actually writen it down this time) a password I invented only yesterday! I could have them/it tattooed somewhere, I suppose..

      Delete
  7. I use the same password for most things, on the basis that it really doesn't matter if someone logs in to my Facebook/twitter/John lewis/waitrose/Hotter shoes etc etc. Online banking is the only thing I need to be secure, and they use different methods altogether anyway!I am sure someone will explain why this is not is not a good idea, but it seems to work for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But John Lewis (for example) will use my credit card if they know my password! Ho hum. I think it's back to the drawing board for me.

      Thank goodness I don't do on-line banking.

      Delete