Password procrastination

About 15 or so years ago, the recommendation for a password was to use a combination of letters and numbers (and maybe symbols, but back then not everything would accept symbols). And of course you have to use a different password for every place you needed one.

I read a blog back then which helped come up with a way of doing just that. You created a rule, and when you applied the rule you ended up with a different password, but you didn’t forget them (mostly).

The trouble is (as the image below explains), they now say that isn’t the best password to use.

You need to make them longer, and you don’t have to worry about numbers and symbols so much. The best thing to do is to think of three or four random words and connect them together.

It’s great they can tell us a better way to a secure password, but they obviously have no idea how many passwords I have! The thought of changing them all is a bit of a nightmare.

I wonder if I just added two words to my existing gibberish passwords I would achieve the same thing? I think that would be easier to manage (maybe).

Anyway, it all seems rather overwhelming so I have done nothing, but guilt is starting to override my procrastination.

How up-to-date is your password management?

13 comments on “Password procrastination

  1. Gibberish is the best, but you don’t usually remember them. However, after I got a scam email where the author had worked out a password I used a lot – and threatened to reveal my supposed porn habit! – I went through all 72 web sites on my iPad and changed the lot. It’s not hard on an iPad, which is what I mostly use, because it offers you “strong” gibberish passwords, and you don’t need to remember them. And if you like, you can simply change from one gibberish password to another, by saying you have forgotten each time. Let those friendless losers who have nothing better to do than try hacking work THAT out!

    I recently got another of those threatening emails, demanding bitcoins or they would reveal my porn habit, and laughed my head off as I deleted it.

    Sometimes I check the email addresses of scammers and, if possible, forward them to the company concerned, saying “Look what your employee is doing on his work email!”

    • I’ve had a couple of the porn threat ones (also deleted while laughing), but the scariest was one which mentioned a large bomb had been placed nearby and if I didn’t pay… I knew it would be a scam, but bomb threat is a whole ‘nother level of scary, so I reported that one to the spooks (who took it as a serious scam).

      I sometimes look at the email addresses, but they always seem nonsensical to me.

  2. I’ve started changing some of mine to full sentences after seeing a friend’s Wi-Fi password. It made me laugh, but it was so easy to remember! She’d set it as “Mymom’sphone#is555-5555” (with her mom’s actual phone number). So it had symbols, numbers, and a capital letter. I use sentences for food apps, like “Myfavoriteorderhereismacandcheese” and stuff like that, which just makes me smile, or “Iwasforcedtochangemypasswordagainthisyear.” (Not my real passwords, but you get the idea.) Now that I’m not limited to eight letters and numbers, it’s much more entertaining.

    • Haha, that’s funny. I’ll have to try and think of something funny as well as I will have more change of remembering it that way.

  3. I have a daughter in cybersecurity so she forces me to stay UTD. The best advice I’ve heard is to take the first letter of each word in a sentence you’ll remember and use that. Can’t tell you mine though!

  4. Mine is pretty good, because I use LastPass to store my passwords and to generate them when I need a new one or need to change one for whatever reason. My passwords are a minimum of 12 letters long, and the more critical ones (e.g. my bank) are 20 characters or more, and are generally a random series of letters, numbers and symbols. With password requirements getting more stringent, a password manager is a must-have. Mine costs $24 a year, but I consider it money well spent.

    • Yeah, The Hub and I have talked about getting something like that. We probably need to look into it again.

  5. The problem with the four random words is that many places require the passwords to contain a capital letter, a number, and a symbol of some sort. That makes it harder.

    I use pass phrases. Rather than a base word, the passcode is the first letter of each word in the phrase. In some cases, these are easily replaced with a letter or symbol. And there has to be something capitalized in the sentence. Alas, I figure that’s more like the first kind of password in the cartoon.

    I was procrastinating changing passwords when my browser alerted me that some of my passwords had been hacked, so they needed to be changed immediately. It took me two months, but I finally got it done.

    • I’ve had a couple of places where I’ve been alerted to hacking of passwords, but as mine are different for every site, it only meant changing the one password. I think that’s why I am dreading having to change every password. I might have to do it gradually as I use them.

  6. Giggling Fattie

    January 12, 2021 at 9:38 am

    After some accounts were hacked in the summer of 2019, I changed as many as possible. Like my pinterest password? Whatever LOL. But my important ones (bank, phone company, paypal etc) were all changed and are all combos of at least two words and numbers. I do reuse a few but I have a book of passwords all written down lol

    • There are so many passwords that we need now we are living a cyber life! Back in the day, there were only one or two that you might have needed. It’s so much harder now!

  7. Sooo true!

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