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Who Else is Tired of Playing Password Roulette?

As a security measure, it used to work like a charm: utter a secret code word and gain VIP access to my neighbor’s tree fort.

It was simple, efficient, kept out the riff-raff.

At some point, however, the concept of a password shifted into some sick, sadistic game whose rules keep changing to increasingly favor the house.

Now, nothing conjures up anxiety and dread quite like a vacant box beckoning for me to enter my unique string of letters/numbers/characters.

Such a seemingly straightforward request, yet it demands some masterful sleuthing skills on my end.

You see, my password history is long and rocky and littered with debris.

My original password was simple and memorable: something along the lines of “mike” (though not quite that obvious).

Soon I was asked to complicate it by adding a number, so “mike55” (also bogus) became the norm.

Next, I had to add a special character to the mix, and “mike55$” was the ticket.

And the latest – and most grueling – demand is that I create an entirely new, unique password every 30/60/90 days.

Given that I have active passwords created during each phase of this evolution, I think you get a sense of my frustration. I’m guessing you may relate.

It’s sometimes helpful when the empty password box is accompanied by an offer to retrieve a lost password — that is, of course, unless I can’t recall the answer I provided to a security question posed months or years earlier (as if I can remember which “childhood best friend” or “favorite teacher” I cited…)

My work BlackBerry is arguably my least merciful opponent, granting me just eight attempts to hit the jackpot before it wipes itself clean (and I know first-hand that it means business). This ticking time bomb loves to threaten its self-destruction while I try to recreate the convoluted logic my mind used to concoct the latest password. Maddening.

I’ve heard about those apps that serve as a master repository for all your passwords. Seems like a good idea, but guess what’s required to access it…that’s right, even my passwords need passwords.

Oh how I pine for the day when a simple retinal scan or iris scan is my ticket to ride. Heck, I’d even submit to a urine test if that’s what it took.

Unfortunately, all of this really just proves one point: that I’m too old and crotchety to play in tree forts anymore.

Got any password tales of your own to share?


 

Help Me Quit Crack(Berry)

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Ask any of my co-workers (and many of my friends) what my BlackBerry means to me, and they’ll probably say “far too much.”

Astute folks.

You see, in the past two years, I’ve grown a bit over-attached to this little impish device. It‘s never far from my clutches and has taken a position as one of the top 3 belongings whose whereabouts are my constant obsession (the wallet and keys occupy slots #2 and #3).

Like any addiction, my BB abuse has escalated to the point of needing some serious intervention. It’s causing me to neglect my family, shirk my household chores, EVEN text while driving (in fact, I regularly compose and send entire e-mails while powering down the highway – who says guys can’t multi-task?)

Going cold turkey is always an option, of course, but it’s such an unpleasant one – complete with vomiting, DT’s and other detox-withdrawal symptoms.

I’m looking for a less severe “scaling back,” one in which I can still reap the benefits of mobility while knowing when to say when. Like a food addict who needs to learn to manage her food issues, I just need to train myself to become a more responsible BlackBerry owner/operator (i.e. she’s still gotta eat; I’ve still gotta tweet).

And so I ask: Does anyone have any ideas for helping to transform my CrackBerry back to a BlackBerry?

My ears – and thumbs – eagerly await your suggestions.

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