“Please choose a new password”. As my eyes skimmed the five words, I felt sickened…..almost light headed with the realization that today might just become THAT day….the day I had known would come eventually, but that I had feared with an unhealthy fear…..today would become the day that I end up using, “the last password”.
How did this happen? How did we get here….now…today? What led up to this moment (insert 60’s psychedelic swirls here)?
We are all born with a certain number of things; the obvious are arms, legs, fingers, toes….brain cells, ovum, etc. But…I also believe that the human body contains a limited supply of computer passwords. Yes….that is correct. It is a little known fact that we are born with a limited supply of these word/number/uppercase/lowercase combinations and that when you run out – you ARE out. Sure, you can go back and begin reusing something that you used in the late 1990’s but honestly, you are sacrificing your online security.
A good password is like an old friend. It roles off your fingers onto the computer keyboard with nary a backward glance. A bad password makes you stumble, trips you up. We all do the unacceptable with our password selection. A good password with good “security strength” contains a magical combination of uppercase and lowercase letters with a few numbers thrown in for good measure. It shouldn’t be your wedding anniversary date with the initials of your children thrown in; it shouldn’t be the name of your first boyfriend/girlfriend. It is supposed to be completely random and hard to remember because if it is hard for YOU to remember, then it certainly should be difficult for a hacker to hack.
My point is….we all have had good passwords in our lives and bad passwords. A good password is comforting like a warm blanket, a bad password irritates you every time you use it.
Which brings me to now…today, the day that I might have to break out my last good password. Why is it my last? I honestly don’t think I have another really great one in me. I always thought that I would be in my 60’s or even 70’s before I used my last really good password, but between the online banking, itunes, facebook and now google+, I have used up my passwords like the U.S. government has used up stimulus funds. And now it is time to pay the piper.
Walking out to the yard with the shovel, a rush of emotion washes over me and I prepare to dig up the canister that contains my last, perfect, password. I have secured it much in the same way as the cold war launch sequence codes or the Cadbury secret. As I began to dig one hole, then two, then three I realized that perhaps I should have told someone where I had buried my hidden treasure.