Tag Archives: security

When it Comes to Creating Passwords, I’ll Pass

by Viv Sade

When my oldest son — who works in security in Washington, D.C.— comes to visit, he is always completely aghast at my total lack of anything remotely resembling security.

Identity theft can happen to anyone who is not aware.

He runs around securing the premises every night, locking doors, planning the escape route in case of a midnight emergency, stocking up on bottled water and 20-pound cans of beans and wearing cammo and SWAT gear to take out my garbage.

Normally, my nightly security routine consists of getting up at 2 a.m. and shutting the front door after I fall asleep on the couch watching “Intervention.”

What drives my son the craziest, though, is a document on my computer desktop titled “PASSWORDS.”

Actually, there are now two documents — one entitled “NEW PASSWORDS” and another called “OLD PASSWORDS.”

“Mom,” he admonishes, “Tell me you do not put your passwords to every account you have out there for the whole world to see?!”

So I tell him, “Don’t be silly. Of course I don’t. I’ve never had the whole world stop by and want to use my computer. Just you or one of the other kids.”

My kids know better than to try and steal my credit or lack thereof. And God help any thief who swipes my identity. The joke is clearly on him. He’s not laughing all the way to the bank. The bank is laughing him all the way out of the bank.

The problem is that I often forget my password and am forced to come up with a new password — so I continue to keep a list of OLD and NEW passwords. For that reason, I try to K.I.S.S. when it comes to passwords.

I prefer easy-to-remember passwords like “password,” “vivspassword” or “mypassword.”

But because of security measures, that usually does not pass the muster. As a result, I can sometimes spend an entire afternoon on the computer, just trying to come up with an acceptable password.

My son, on the other hand, will change his password every five or six days just to make sure he is secure. One week he changed it from “<>catinhatprobe?/{678}=&!^%2jack@$$esDRAG78men2Jail<>” to “<>hatincatprobe?/{678}=&!^%2jack@$$esDRAG79men2Jail<>.”

When I wanted to use his laptop, it took three days and two nights just for him to relay the password.

Seriously — who’s got that kind of time? I’m not a young woman.

This is how I create a password:

To be creative when developing new passwords, one must first unlock the Windows of his mind.

WINDOWS: Please enter your new password.

VIV: password

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters.

VIV: passwords

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must contain at least one numerical character.

VIV: 1password

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot begin with a numerical character.

VIV: password1

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must contain at least one symbol.

VIV: password1!

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character.

USER: password1DAMMit!

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.

VIV: DAMN password1 and I hate you!

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot contain blank spaces.

VIV: IamdrivingtoWINDOWScity, whereIwillstranglethelifeoutofyou-andleaveyou4dead!

WINDOWS: Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation or hyphens.


WINDOWS: Sorry, you have already used that password and must create a new password.

VIV: @#$%!&1*@#$%@&&!HATEHATEHATEyou!

WINDOWS: That password is already taken.

— Viv Sade lives in Churubusco and is a lifetime member of the International Identity Thieves Do-Not-Call List.