Some things in life serve only to induce rage. No matter how small these annoyances may be, they are never insignificant. 'Rant List' is the chronicle of one self-loathing narcissist's seemingly unending pettiness.

Monday, 4 April 2011

59. The constant assault of passwords

^ This is pretty much what happens when I use the wrong password three times on my Visa security checker thing and get my card locked.

Having spent my childhood years playing too many video-games and my adult years drinking, the only time my brain wasn't being rotted on a regular basis was between the ages of 15-16. As such, my memory is shot to pieces with the only permanent fixture being things learnt in that one year of mental stimulation. Unfortunately, I squandered my chance to learn something valuable and instead the only things I properly remember are regarding Metallica from 1981-1992. Essential information, I'm sure you'll all agree.

With my premature senility in mind (well, as "in mind" as memory loss can be), it is with great disdain and reluctance I sign myself up to anything online nowadays. Not because I have to come up with a username, words are actually relatively easy to remember having learnt to speak at some point earlier in life. No, it's because of passwords that I fear making new accounts. Security is apparently always at risk on the internet and so online purveyors of banal accounts want to make sure your account is particularly secure. That's all well and good, but when the websites in question then reject your first twelve passwords because they either use actual words, don't contain random enough digits like 7 or π, dOn'T cOnStantLY cHANGe CasE or, God-forbid, don't alter the font, then it becomes a chore. The mighty internet tells me this is a good password;

Do you realise how long it takes me to type that? The mini-Sonic takes at least 15 minutes to draw and the upside question mark requires 40 minutes scouring the computer's character map and crying. But at least my Gmail account is secure!!

However, remembering one unrelentingly unguessable password simply isn't enough. Apparently, having a "global password" is mind-numbingly stupid and basically equivalent to wearing a sign that says "INTERNET HACKERS, PRETEND TO BE ME PRETTY PLEASE". The only solution is to have hordes of unique passwords - one for every account you may have. This means that every time you try to log in to your Amazon account, you have to cycle through each and every password you've ever thought of in an attempt to eventually find the correct one. And don't you dare write these passwords down. The hackers will still find it. Even if you encode the passwords and hide them under your bed, they'll find a way.

Similarly, some accounts will even require you to change your password every few months, just for that extra. Secure. Edge. Whilst you clutch at straws to think of something new that you won't forget in the next few minutes, the password-checking program will mock you and repeatedly tell you that your new password is too similar to your previous one or that you can't re-use an old password. I can only remember so many things. A random assortment of numbers, digits and dated cartoon characters is not one of them!

Please Internet, I know no one is going to hack any of my accounts. I have no money to steal and the only emails I've received since 2007 are about Russian women who allegedly can't wait to meet me (turns out they were lying). Just let me have something simple like "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" as a global password.


UPDATE: I don't usually do this, but this is utterly karmic payback for writing this entry. I got my online banking password wrong twice and now my account is locked. GEE THANKS NATWEST.

1 comment:

  1. Sad thing is that there are a lot of secure password storage devices, so perhaps you only have to remember one password.

    But then again, those hackers will manage to break into it, even if you hide it somewhere safe, like a cavity in your body.