Password Fatigue? Me too!

Every time I go to do something on my computer or phone, I get asked to create another account and I need another password.  Or the accounts I already have need me to change or re-enter my password.  I hate it! 

How in the world do I remember them all?  

Well, I have my favourite password. I use it over and over.  And then some IT guy tells me it is bad to use the same password everywhere because of cyber crime and hackers.   

I tell him I am super creative so I use my favourite password and I add a number to the end when I need to update it.  Sometimes I am super complex and I’ll add an exclamation point too.   

I hate it, but I’ve got it all figured out. 

But then I find out that these hacker jerks can buy my favourite password on the dark web because the other hacker jerk breached the Marriott Rewards website and stole millions of passwords, and I stayed at a Marriott once and set up an account so I could get some points and a free coffee and I used my favourite password (of course).  And apparently, once they have my password, they’ll just use a special computer program to add a few million number and character combos to it and crack it in a matter or seconds. 

Nice. Did I mention I hate passwords?  

Now I’m stuck creating complex passwords that are different on every site.  I used to write them down in a spiral notebook (it has a cute puppy on the cover; my Aunt Ethel gave it to me and she’ll know if I don’t use it).  But the notebook got old fast (sorry Aunt Ethel). I didn’t have it with me all the time and half the time I couldn’t remember where I put it.  And every time I changed a password I had to scribble things out and write in new info, and then I’d run out of room and have to start a new page, and nothing was in alphabetical order, and then I spilt my coffee on it (sorry cute puppy).   

I’m pretty smart and resourceful, thus I determined I needed an electronic solution.  I started a spreadsheet on my laptop.  Way easier to update! But I was worried my hard drive might crash and I’d lose it.  And every time I needed a password I had to turn on my laptop.  This is the 21st century.  I need my password list on my laptop and my smartphone!  

So, I started saving my spreadsheet in DropBox (did I mention I’m pretty smart and resourceful)? I have access to it on the go.  I can share it with my wife and it is kind of backed up.   

Then I started hating it again. I still had to think of my own passwords and I’d accidently delete cells.  And then my smarty pants IT guy told me that the speadsheet syncs to my desktop and my wife’s desktop and if anyone ever has access to our computer the passwords are all just sitting there ripe for the picking.   

I have since learned I am not the first person to hate passwords.  Smarter people than me have hated them first.  And some of those people have created Password Managers.  These are websites, with associated apps for smartphones, that give all the functionality and security I was looking for.  They also will create super complex passwords for me. And they allow quick copy and paste functions so I don’t even have to try to type the password or try to remember what it is.  I could go on and on. 

But here is the point. I hate passwords. But I love password manager apps. 

They are essential tools in this era of mobile technology and online accounts. This applies for personal use and business use.   

If you manage a business, you need to ask yourself, “What are my employees doing to manage all their work passwords? Do they use the same password everywhere? Do they use a puppy notebook from Aunt Ethel? What can I do to help them and keep my business systems secure?”  

Bralin can help. Ask us about Password Mangers. 

December 2020

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