In the beginning I had one email account, one username and one password, and life was good.
Then I wanted to shop and join a couple of forums, but that was ok – I used the same username and password for everything. Nobody ever bothered to hack into my cupcake forum (yes, there is such a thing) or even attempted to take over my email account and flood my contact list with ads for penis enlargements.
But as I got involved with more things…social media *spits*, bank accounts, Amazon, paypal, ebay, fashion, shoes – the list is endless – the need to be more inventive with usernames and passwords became more necessary, and the chances of me forgetting them more frequent, and the demands of these applications more complicated, until username and password was no longer enough. Now they wanted to know the name of the hospital my eldest child was born in and what my brother studied at university – more things I’m never going to remember.
I totally understand why the most popular password is password. It just gets far too complicated to come up with something that’s gonna be memorable to me but impossible for anyone else to discover every time I want to join a new website.
Here’s SplashData’s 2011 list of most popular passwords:
Overload happened today. I wandered down to the shop, as I always do, unlocked the door and walked across the shop floor, heading for the alarm control panel to the sound of its usual warning beep beep beep, but when I raised my hand to punch in the same number that I’ve been keying in every morning and night for the last four years I couldn’t remember it. The threat of the alarm kicking in and the Police turning up only seemed to make it sink deeper into a sea of increasingly random passwords I’ve been forced to invent.
Forgotten passwords/usernames – they’re the cyber age equivalent of putting something away in a safe place…never to find it again.