A WORD about PassWORDS
Is it just me, or have we become a password-driven society? I have more passwords than I can remember and all the identity theft experts caution against writing them down. I’m like the woman in the shoe who had so many kids she didn’t know what to do. I have so many passwords I don’t know what to do. I need a password to access a plethora of financial, literary, and social media websites. To manage, I’ve tried to use only a few different passwords for my various accounts, but even then I forget them. This leads to a nerve-racking guessing game that ends with me being locked out. I invariably sit at the computer gaping at the screen, feeling like a dunce. It’s the same feeling you get when you inadvertently close the door while going to retrieve the mail, not realizing that it’s locked, or when you’re in a hurry and you lock your keys in the car. It’s that feeling of being on the outside and wanting in, but dreading the changes you’re going to have to go through to be readmitted into the club. And that leads to major frustration, especially when I’m trying to pay a bill online.
I can’t even get the security questions right and oftentimes, I don’t recognize them. 1) What was your favorite flavor of Now and Later Candy when you were in middle school? Are you serious? That couldn’t possibly be my security question. I can’t answer that now, later, or ever. 2) What was the name of the jerk in high school that promised to take you to the prom but stood you up and took the girl voted most popular instead? You got to be kidding. 3) What’s the name of your favorite author and the name of their latest novel? Okay that’s a no-brainer—Alretha Thomas and “Married in the Nick of Nine.” I know…shameless plug. But really, there has to be a solution for all these passwords. It wouldn’t be as frustrating if passwords could belong to us in perpetuity, but they expire and every few months you have to create a new one.
Password creation is no joke. It takes finesse. Like a lot of people, I’ve been guilty of ignoring the rules. You know those insidious instructions: Use at least one upper case letter. Use no more than three lower case letters. Include a punctuation mark, but no commas allowed. Your password should be at least eight characters, but not ten, and so on. On one occasion, I spent thirty minutes—I kid you not—trying to come up with an acceptable password. It was for the Library of Congress Copyright Page. Before it was all said, and done, I thought it was going to take an Act of Congress for me to get registered.
Okay, I’ll calm down. If being pissed at passwords is my biggest problem at the moment, I’m a blessed woman. I’ll close by saying: Peter Piper picked a peck of prickled passwords; A peck of pickled passwords Peter Piper picked; If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled passwords, where’s the peck of pickled passwords Peter Piper picked? Probably Expired.