Do you ever feel like your entire life is password protected? It's becoming increasingly difficult to do anything in life that doesn't require a "unique" password, 2 picture-card identity's, and the promise of your first born's blood.
I suspect there are more people out there who, like me, now keep an entire Excel spreadsheet devoted entirely to passwords (of course, my Excel spreadsheet is itself password protected). Off the top of my head, I need passwords for:
- My blog
- Online banking
- My many book clubs so I can go online each month and reject the book of the month (only to have it sent to me anyway)
- Consumer Reports
- American Express / Hilton Honors cards
- Mary Kay online ordering
- Best Buy
- MSN groups
- Carolina Red Cross
- And last but not least, different pin passwords for my ATM cards--one for business, one for personal, one for debit, one for credit card, etc., etc. The only reason I have any money in these accounts is because all my time is spent unsuccessfully trying to remember passwords to get it out...
People--there just aren't enough number/letter combos in the Universe. Or if there are, I have no shot at remembering them. Every new website that insists I log in my e-mail and password before proceeding takes care to warn me to "Chose a minimum 35-number/letter password that bears no relation to your kids, spouse, pets, home address, or anything that has remotely to do with your life and that you therefore have a shot at remembering."
PLUS, they go on to warn you that you should never reuse a password, i.e., the secret code that lets you buy books on Amazon should be entirely different from the secret code used to access your Paypal account. You betcha. Like I don't have enough useless crap floating around in my head without trying to remember if my password for my bank is "CatsRule225" or "Rulerof allcats522."
Here's a heads up: I have 2 passwords--same letters, same numbers--that I use for almost all my transactions. Crack the code and you have instant access to every corner of my life. I have no shame in admitting this because I'm willing to bet large sums of money (that I can't access from my account b/c I lost the damn password) that most people do the same.
The using the same code things is fairly recent. I tried to play by the rules for awhile and use different passwords, which is why I am forced to keep the Excel spreadsheet. I will say this: looking at old passwords is like reading a diary... you can really tell what headspace you were in during that period of your life. "menaremorons07" (note: different from "MENAREMORONS07") and "pookiekissypoo1" are enough to keep your shrink busy for months.
If you ever read about my arrest in the paper, it won't be for drugs, or money laundering, or staging an animal rights protest. No, it will most likely be for bank robbery... because I was unable to ever come up with that stupid password.