Passing on passwords

What Mel Did - Black woman with post-its in her hair

There is a password for everything in modern living, and I am baffled as to how we are expected to keep up with the dizzying array of passwords needed to negotiate that modern life.

I went onto one of those memory training websites last week and couldn’t remember some of the registration information being asked for – mainly because I need memory training.

I did think about sending an email to the makers of the website pointing out the flaw in their cunning system. (Or I may have sent the email and have yet to receive a response. Unless I did receive a response and can’t remember doing so.)

You see the problem.

Joking aside, generally my memory is quite good, except when it isn’t. Names, no problem. Dates, a bit iffy. Passwords, blindingly good if I just use the same one for everything, which of course is frowned upon.

I then came up with the cunning plan of using memorable place names and just adding or changing some numeric digits at the end if asked to change my password ‘for security reasons.’ Except now, some systems will not let you use place names or any word (with or without suffixed digits) that can be found in the dictionary. So, ‘BostonRedSox100’ is a no go, but ‘X&JJnm@hw£$5689!O8’ is dandy.

The flaw in this cunning plan of course is that the password is strong, granted, except it is not memorable. The only thing to do, then, is to write the thing down on a post-it and stick it on the front of the computer monitor! Suffice it to say, the password prefects at work were not happy with that.

There is a code or password for everything in modern living, and I am baffled as to how we are expected to keep up with the dizzying array of passwords needed to negotiate that modern life.

I was quite a fan of ‘Touch ID,’ where your fingerprint is used to purchase goods on your mobile phone for instance. Except I appear to have bought a Russian Bride last week and can’t remember doing so. Apparently, Touch ID can be a touch sensitive and one may end up purchasing all sorts of things not easily explained away to a jury.

What, then, is the answer? I had taken to writing cryptic notes and emailing them to myself as an aide memoire. At this time of writing, I have spent some days trying to decode this mysterious note for one of my online accounts:

“And the dish ran away with the hotdog.”

I remember (vaguely) that this aide to memory was very clever. Of course, it would be even cleverer if only I could remember what the damned thing means.


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  • I have a little notebook with all my passwords in it – about 200 of them at the last count. And the bank makes me change my password every three months so there’s no continuity either. Unfortunately I get lazy and can’t be bothered to get up and find the notebook every time I put in a new password – about once a week it seems. Seriously, I don’t care if anyone and everyone sees what I read from The Telegraph prime articles newsletter or what my rating is on Tots100.

    • I’m with you. And yet with all the security, my bank has changed my bank card twice in as many months due to suspected fraudulent activity. They couldn’t tell me what the ‘activity’ was – as they are not allowed to know and it is all computerised – and they weren’t allowed to tell me if they did know it. The good thing, was the bank said they also weren’t allowed to tell the fraudsters! Yes, that was good news. ? Have a super Sunday. Mx

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