21 May 2010

Then simply type in your password!

Infinitely preferable to telephoning a government agency, sitting on hold for 45 minutes, being put through to four different departments and finally being accidentally disconnected by the agency's equivalent of the work experience kid, is the option of logging onto the Online Services section of their website.

Except.

They demand that I frequently change my password, adhering to the basic guidelines of choosing a new password that has no fewer than 6 but no more than 8 characters, contains a mix of letters and numbers, has no reference to dates like birthdays/anniversaries, names of children/partners/parents, or favourite things like colours/football teams/songs, is not a word that appears in a dictionary, and is not used as a password on other internet sites.

Then they tell me not to write it down.

Or tell it to anyone who might be able to help me remember it.

And change it regularly.

Loonies.

11 comments:

Heather said...

I once worked at a university whose computer system for gaining access to student data was understandably well protected by a password that had to be changed every 30 days. Same rules as you mention about combo of letters and numbers, not writing it down, etc.

I wound up using the name of the town in which we lived and the number 12 (you know, 1, 2...). On alternating months, it would be Ithaca12 or 12Ithaca.

I thought I was so clever because I only had two possibilities to recall.

Then the system got mad at me and told me I'd used the previous month's password too recently to use it again. So I had to add a third password to my line-up. I went for Ithaca21. Rotating between the three seemed to pacify the system, because it didn't get upset with me again. Whew.

So, I'd suggest a similar thing for you - see if it works. :-)

Emily Sue said...

My current security system at work doesn't let us use the same password again for 13 months. Thankfully I can get away with the same word and a number. I'm currently at password9 and desperately trying to remember if there's a character limit. If I can't have password10 I don't know what I'll do.

Mamma has spoken said...

I feel your pain! Though at work, they tell us NOT to change our passwords because someone has it somewhere so that they can get on our stuff if the need arises. I've always wonder what kind of need that needs to be?

Swift Jan said...

I had to change my password all the time when I was a moderator on bubhub. Very annoying!!!!!

Jen said...

If you can't write it down, how in the world will you remember it?

veiledturnip said...

Make it the first letters of the first sentence from one of your posts or something and then right down the post name & a number next to it to remind you? Or a page from a book? So silly!
'tractr'

CraftyMummy said...

Hi Givinya. I've awarded you a special blog award :) You can pick it up here http://mummycrafts.blogspot.com/2010/05/lovely-blog-award.html

Crazy Sister said...

Ridiculous. Write it the heck down.

The Accidental Housewife said...

The systems administrator did a password audit and found someone with the password MinnieMickeyDonaldHueyDeweyLouieGoofyDaisyCanberra. When asked why it was so long, the user said they were directed to use eight characters and one capital....

Just write it down. If someone is going to hack into your account and mess with your stuff, they aren't going to do it using the post-it note from your desk at home!

Crazy Sister said...

I'm pretty sure I know which agency you're talking about - I just spent nearly half an hour completing the insane online registration and the very final page said, "This service is currently unavailable. Please try again later."

le@thirdontheright said...

oh yes .. I so get this :) le