Help, I’m drowning in a pool of 6-7 letters, case sensitive, recommended to include at least one number passwords. Anytime it seems I want to do anything online I now have to sign up and of course if I sign up I’m gonna need a password. Another bloody password. I consider myself somewhat intelligent but I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel with my passwords already! For work alone I have four different passwords and one is changed every two months! Come on, I don’t have that many dead pets or old street names, I am getting to the end of things that I will remember as passwords.
And why is the responsibility put on me, the banks I dare to put my feeble amount of money in, regularly send me brochures telling me about security measures with my account and ways to make my password more secure. You know what banks, get lost, you want my money and then give me little if no return on it oh and charge me for daring to access it I say to you banks, the security problem is yours. Hire some teenage hackers, give them what they want and let them make it so my password can be easy. Clearly I’m no techno head but I have password overload and I’m reaching the end of my tether.
I’m saying all this so that the next humiliating episode might be slightly understood. I thought I had found the perfect solution, when I bought home my beautiful new laptop it asked me for a password. At first I had nothing I just stared at the screen, time passed and I just decided that I would put my old faithful one in. A little red message appears, ugghhhh, not enough letters. Fine I’ll just add 1 on the end, again another message, this one gives me a coloured bar with weak at the end of it. So my password is weak, great my old faithful password is apparently weak and not likely to survive in the cold world of cyberspace.
I stared at the screen again, this would be the last time I would be told my password was weak. I would come up with a word 7-8 letters in length and it would include a number. It obviously had to be something that I could easily remember so while I was sitting there I remembered a Seinfeld joke about carparks and how instead of being labeled B1 they should be your mother’s a whore or something that you wouldn’t forget. Bingo I knew what my password would be.
My password worked like a charm, it was not weak, it fulfilled all the requirements and most of all it was memorable. I’ll tell you what else was memorable the day my laptop made weird noises and then froze just when I need it most. In a panic I phoned a friend and she directed me to a strange geeky looking store in the local neighbourhood. I ran down panicked cradling the laptop like I was taking one of my children to the hospital. Breathless and wide-eyed I explained the situation to the prepubescent behind the counter. He looked at me with a mixture of disdain and disinterest and took my laptop to his bench behind the counter. He plugged things in and then sat down, the noises started again but without much effort he seemed to horse whisper through the keyboard and all the weird noises stopped.
My relief was cut short by these words.
“I’m going to need your password to access your computer.”
I pretended to not know what that thing was but all I was really doing was trying to buy time.
“Don’t worry about that, just close it.” I said.
His look of contempt turned to complete disgust.
“To fix the problem I need your password to access your computer.”
I froze; questions and scenarios were whirring through my mind. I was snapped out of my self-induced dilemma by geek boys questions.
“Do you want me to fix this?” he said
“Of course” I stammered
“Then I’m going to need your password.” He said password slowly, not even hiding his frustration with me.
“I’ll just type it in and then you can do your thing.” I said suddenly enthused that I had found the way to makes this problem go away.
“I have it plugged in here and nobody comes behind the counter. If you want me to fix it you have to tell me your password and then just change it later.” He wasn’t even looking at me anymore, my human presence and lack of compliance was obviously not something he was used to in his cyber world and he was losing interest rapidly.
Moments passed in silence, I stared at him, shuffled my feet and realized this young socially awkward guy had all the power and I had to suck it up.
“Alright, it’s 2 ( pause) b i g b o o b s”
“What?” he said
Now this made me mad, my beautiful easy to remember password was now out there, it was soiled and could not be used again and all because of him. I looked at him with anger growing and that’s when I saw his red glowing cheeks. I took a moment to click but then I realized he had heard what I had said, it had just taken time to register in his head. His crimson cheeks gave away his embarrassment. Of course he was embarrassed, he probably had never seen these boobs I talked of, at least in real life and now here was a female in his presence saying the word boobs, well spelling it out, whatever the word boobs had been said.
I was now the one with the power.
“2 bigboobs, it’s 2 bigboobs.” I was flush with bravado, there was no spelling out this time, no this time I said it loud and even dramatically embellished the way I said boobs the second time. Booooooobs, ha ha, it was a small victory but a victory nonetheless.
His cheeks were burning red and I stood there reveling in my victory, he busied himself in my computer and that’s when I heard the noises behind me. While I had been staging my own stand off with the computer guy I hadn’t noticed that other people had entered the store. I could feel the redness fill my cheeks, I took a quick glance around, one, two, three men oh and great two children all staring at me mouths open. Awkward, mortifying, these words couldn’t even begin to describe it, I shuffled over to the side, careful to avoid all eye contact. I suddenly became very interested in the range of adaptors they had on the wall.
After what seemed like hours but must have only been a couple of minutes two children and two of the men left. I could still hear someone shuffling around the store so I knew there was still someone left. The computer guy was still engrossed in my computer, for all I knew he was sitting there downloading every computer virus he could possibly download. I just stayed engrossed in the adaptor range, surely at some point he would leave and geek boy and I could have our incredibly awkward exchange and get on with our lives.
Finally after much silent pleading in my head the last shopper came up to the counter. I had moved on to the fascinating range of USB’s, it was becoming harder and harder to look interested so I was hoping this whole thing would be over and done with soon.
“Hi mate I just wanted to check you’re OK? said the shopper
“Fine.” mumbled geek boy
“Are you sure?” this time the shopper looked directly at me.
My cheeks started to flush brightly, again, I avoided his gaze but I knew he was trying to figure out why a woman was yelling at the computer guy so confidently about her boobs only a few minutes ago and now was hiding in the corner not looking at anyone.
I decided to bite the bullet, I figured I would get out of here before anyone else or possibly security came into the store. I took a big breath took a few steps to the counter and told the computer guy I would take my computer. I placed a hundred dollars down on the counter, it was far more than I probably had to pay and I knew it wouldn’t buy his silence but it would buy my escape out of there.
Computer guy put my laptop on the counter, I scooped it and held it tight against my chest. Not knowing what the protocol was in such a situation I mumbled a thank you and hot footed it out the door.
As you can imagine my passwords now are less memorable but also less likely to find me yelling out about my boobs to a young man in a shop!