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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Twisted Thinking - #2 Passwords are the bane of my existence

Bane means a source of persistent annoyance or exasperation.  That describes passwords to a T.

Instinctively I know that passwords are here to protect me.  I do. 

But I now believe that behind the scenes there are a group of particularly diabolical programmers that get perverse pleasure in simply denying me access to things that I can't imagine anyone else on earth caring about stealing. 

Case in point - my kids grades.  Who would want to get access to my kids' information?

Their school just switched to a new platform called RENWEB.  I use it on a daily basis to access the info on my kids grades, homework and schedules.  Now I'm sure it is a perfectly good company, but here is my beef.  Not only do they ask my login and my password, but they ask for my Division Code.  This, by the way isn't my code, it is something that is only meaningful to them and of course it is impossible to remember.  On top of that, on their mobile app, they don't auto-populate those fields or give me a chance to just remain logged in.  So every day I have to go look up their blasted Division Code.  Argh. 

OK, my bank is another story.  I wouldn't want people accessing my banking info.  But my bank assigned me an account code that once again is only meaningful to them and I can't change it.  It isn't even terribly secure, as it is a four letter word (no not one of those).  I then have to remember not only my login and my password, but I also need a special code that is auto-generated on the fly by another app on my phone.  You have to catch it within 25 seconds or it won't match what the bank shows.  And of course if you mess up three times in trying to remember which password you used for this system, it locks you out and you have to call.  Some stranger then resets it.  How secure is that?

And then there are the sites that won't allow you to use special characters in your password or those that will only allow you to set up a password that has at least one capital letter, numbers and multiple special characters.  They make it impossible to have a password that you can remember, so guess what?  You have to write it down somewhere.   I'm pretty sure that defeats the purpose.

Let's not forget those that make you change your password every 45 days and then they won't let you use any of your last 10 passwords.  ...Really? 

Oh and the impossible cycle of password resets where you go an enter the information, they say cheerily that they have sent you an email to ********tionz.com and then you go to find it, click it, reset the password, go back to the login and the darn thing won't work. 

And my favorite is my hosting provider, who doesn't have password resets on ANYTHING and if I can't remember it, I have to call him.   What is he thinking?

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Passwords are indeed the bane of my existence.   But I can't live with them and I know that software providers and online sites can't live without them. 

And those twisted programmers probably can't help themselves, poor dears.  







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