Despite the fact that this is a blog about memories, my memory is not the greatest. Oh sure, I can remember the color of Holly Miller’s doe eyes, even though she only attended St. Joes school for one year in the 5th grade before her family moved to Cleveland, and left me behind broken hearted, never having mustered the courage to speak to her. But ask me what I had for lunch yesterday, and I’d be hard pressed to tell you.
No, ask Mrs. 20 Prospect and she will tell you, that the only thing I am ever able to remember is useless trivia, and obscure information that is of no use to anyone, unless you happen to be locked in a heated battle of Trivial Pursuit with a group of friends. (What’s the shortest verse in the bible? “Jesus Wept”, right Bella?). If I have to pick up more than 2 items at the grocery store I need to make a list, or I will spend hours wandering the aisles trying to remember what the hell I went there to get.
So I just about cried when I received the following message from our Information Technology group this morning;
Effective today, your network logon password will be required to meet the following minimum requirements.
• Passwords must contain a minimum of 8 characters
• Passwords must contain both uppercase and lowercase letters
• Passwords must contain at least one number and one special character
• Passwords must change every 90 days
• Passwords must be different from the last 5 passwords used
I mean, really?
I have worked here for 13 years and during that whole time I have NEVER changed my password. Not once. In fact, despite the dire warnings of security experts, I have used that same password for everything. And now, after all that time, apparently some member of the IT Gestapho has decided that my simple little mnemonic password is a threat to national security, and therefore must be changed continually.
This is the kind of shit that drives me totally insane, adding unneeded complexity to life for sake of complying with some arbitrary bureaucratic policy.
We’ve got enough real problems to fix, that we really don’t need to waste such time and energy fixing things that aren’t broken.
Despite the most honorable intentions of our crack IT staff, this will not improve security, it will lessen it. There is absolutely no way that I will be able to remember a password with 8 characters including upper & lower case letters, numbers and symbols if I am forced to change it every 90 days. Some mornings I have to get up from my desk and walk to the window to look outside, just to remember if it is summer, winter, spring, or fall.
How the hell am I going to manage remembering my password? Simple, I will write it down on a post it note and tape it to my monitor. So now instead of a short, easy to remember password that is known only to me, I will have a long complicated password taped right next to my computer for all the world to see.
So what will I chose as my new password?