Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Features

June 12, 2012

The most secure password of all time

(Continued)

3. Use phrases that speak to you but no one else, like "My '94 Hyundai Excel Is Blue."

Look, if you are still driving a '94 Hyundai Excel, I doubt anyone wants to steal your identity.

4. Mix two memorable words together. They suggest dcoagt (a mix of "dog" and "cat.")

I tried this and got whorewantstoseeyou, combining the two familiar words "woe" and "hr wants to see you," and now HR wants to see me.

5. Don't use a phrase that is popular or common.

So a good, secure password might be, "That Michael Buble is so edgy" or "I have few qualms about the quality of Fox reporting."

6. Use your anniversary as a password. "That way, you'll never forget either!" the people who write this sort of advice say, a little too optimistically, I think.

Who are these people, anyway? You have the sense, reading their advice, that they have beautiful, organized homes and children whose names are good, sturdy, alphanumeric blends, and they seal all their leftovers in carefully labeled plastic containers. We are not like them.

For most real people, using your anniversary as a password guarantees that you will forget both. "Honey," you will be forced to say, "I can't seem to get into our bank accounts."

"What's the password?"

"Our anniversary."

"So what's the problem?"

"Well," you say. "I think perhaps a malicious time traveler changed the date in my timeline, and I was wondering if you would tell me if it is the same day that I remember?"

This will be the best you can do under pressure, and it is not be enough. You'll wind up on the street without access to funds as someone cries and flings Tupperware containers of leftovers at your head.

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