Currently I must remember my username and passwords to 14 mission critical websites – and I am going bonkers.
Remember, by the way that those are only 14 mission critical websites, never mind the second-tier stuff that I a wee-bit less often – so all told, it wouldn’t surprise me if I didn’t have something like 50 different active usernames and passwords.
I know that all the rules say that you’re not supposed to write down your usernames or passwords, but I am about to cry uncle and start writing them down.
Especially when the rules are non-intuitive or impossible to remember.
Over the weekend I discovered that I didn’t know my username for a website that was of passing interest to me historically, but will become incredibly important to me in the future – I actually knew my password – because I’d written it down. To resolve this, I actually had to call somebody, and when I was told my username, it was a username I never would have thought of – a string of ten digits that I apparently had no say in – put together the ten digits don’t even remind me of a phone number. Not even a phone number to Uzbekistan!
Then I decided that I needed to log into another account because I needed to verify some information – once I figured out my username (that only took five tries), I then got my password wrong. Three times. Which locked me out of my account. To resolve this, I actually had to call somebody, and the upshot of it is that I will get a new password sent to me, at my office, sometime in the next month. Fortunately this is not a mission critical website.
At the same time I decided to try and figure out how to log into another account – which I had more success at, even though I didn’t know my password – actually the account has two passwords on it, and I knew one. Too bad the clue for the second one was useless – and it was a clue that I had generated! To resolve this, I actually had to call somebody, and this was a quick fix: my online access to this account was killed and I just had to start anew. Wisely I waited until I got home and had access to my files where I could look up the necessary information.
Password requirements are a bane of my existence, with unreasonable and complicated specifications – the rules below apply to at least two different (important) online accounts that I access regularly:
- The password must have at least one upper-case letter.
- The password must have at least one lower-case letter.
- The password must have at least two numerical digits, but cannot be the same digit.
- The password must have at least one special character.
- The password must be at least eight characters long.
Who can remember the resulting nightmare?
I won’t tell you exactly what my password is for the two sites with this ridiculous combination of rules, but suffice it to say that if it were ever accidentally leaked, the information security techs would know what I think of them.