This is a story, not of romance or intrigue, nor danger or success. It’s about pure frustration and pain. Yours and mine. Mostly mine.

I can’t offer you a solution but simply reassurance you’re not alone.

Keep safe, be secure

With the current explosion of digital platforms, channels, apps, websites, and even devices it has become apparent a new challenge has arisen – the increasing need to be secure.

There is clearly now growing demand to use more secure usernames and unique passwords. I’ll be honest, I struggle to keep up.

There are a couple of resources at work especially that I use so infrequently that it is a real challenge every single time to just recall my username, nevermind my password.

It doesn’t matter that I accessed that account two weeks or two months prior, my memory goes on strike.

Maybe that says something more striking about my memory. I’m inclined to think however that password-fatigue and username-overload are the most significant factors.

Passwords are pants

Either way I’m off on secondment in a couple weeks (yes, I can finally announce it) and surely things will only improve. No, apparently not. Infact it seems there is an even greater amount of incomprehensive combinations of digits and letters awaiting me, the big difference being there are few I’ll be able to modify to make more memorable. Hmmm.

Social media soup

I also have a strong social media presence including LinkedIn, Twitter, Blether And Blogger, Facebook, Twellow, Gravatar, Google+, Eventbrite, my CIPR continuous professional development account, internet banking, several email accounts… you get the picture.

So how to generate numerous unique yet memorable passwords? If you’ve got the answer then I need to know!

A good place to begin is asking how is a secure password constructed and what steps can be taken to protect yourself from being hacked.

Here’s my thoughts, I’d welcome yours:

  • Don’t write your password down;
  • Don’t tuck it away in your wallet;
  • As my work’s IT team point out, passwords don’t need to be hugely complex to be strong;
  • Key to this is to be unexpected, as a hacker will try obvious things first;
  • Use all the avilable types of characters, the longer the better;
  • Don’t open links from sources you can’t trust;
  • Don’t open links questioning if you’re in the photo, even if it is a trusted source – go back and question more and await a response. If someone else’s account has been hacked it’s unlikely they’ll respond, so til they do then don’t open it.

All reasonable advice but doesn’t really help with recall does it? Patterns are vulnerable to being hacked, replication exposes you to significant risk, and ‘padding’ passwords out with characters risks forgetting the password, defeating the purpose.

It’s a condundrum but one that blights and blocks my daily routine! I even forgot my password trying to access my android WordPress app so that I could continue drafting this, after not logging in for a couple of weeks.

Your name’s not down, you’re not getting in.

Take it easy


Photo Credit: Richard Parmiter via Compfight cc


3 thoughts on “Name’s not down, you’re not getting in

  1. This strikes a chord with me.
    Creating unique passwords is the one time I find my dyslexia helps – I have some very strange spelling habits so I create very strong passwords – my challenge is remembering them particularly when in some cases they have to be changed every 28 days and you cant use the same or similar!

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