Friday, May 10, 2013

Password protected -- for our amusement

How many passwords do you have to juggle? Six? Ten?

Simple passwords are too "weak" -- and a lot of sites will insist that you bulk up... passwords must have at least one capital letter, two numbers, a specialty character and anything else that we can think of to screw up your ability to recollect whatever we finally allow you to have. And don't think you can use the password from your most restrictive site as your password everywhere. That would be too easy. At least one of your sites will reject it as having too many characters... passwords must be between 8 and 14 characters long, except on Tuesdays in spring, when passwords must be between 6 and 12 characters long, or Thursdays after the Full Moon in any month having an 'm' in it....

Then there are the sites that make you change your password every 90 days -- because the Russian hackers are always watching you in particular (what makes you so special, anyway?) -- and don't even think of using the password you used to use, either. (The Russians almost got that one, you know.)

But, given the proliferation of passwords, the worst are sites that limit you to one or two tries -- and then make you wait... and wait... for an email. When you get the email, you can reset your password. Too bad you remembered that password in the meantime. Too bad, that is, for you.

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