Password Pet Peeve

I would say that remembering passwords is my biggest pet peeve of the latest times, followed by another pet peeve – waiting forever on customer care helplines and talking to the stupid machine. But that story is for another time.

Today I only want to just give a vent to my frustration about having to remember a zillion User Ids and Passwords. In an age when everything has gone the ‘e’ way, from dating to chatting, from learning to doing, from socializing to working, from banking to ticketing, from shopping to gaming…every little thing is just at the tip of our finger. So easy, so quick! Indeed a blessing!

But remember that old saying, every coin has two sides??! So like everything else, this convenience also comes with its own set of problems. New age world has its own ‘very’ new age, ‘first world’ problems.

For every little thing we do online, we are required to make a new account. Not only is this time consuming, but it also very repetitive and very boring. Gives you a real test in patience. And not to forget, it never gets done right the first time. You always miss out on some ‘important’ question that is asterisk marked, or end up punching a wrong password in your ‘Confirm your password’ section, and end up filling those blocks of information all over again, cursing under your breath all the time. Or worse, when you are just about to hit “Submit”, something goes wrong. Either you lose internet connectivity or the laptop conks out or you accidently press the ‘Backspace’ key and lose all the data. And then, you have to redo from scratch. I don’t know about you, but happens with me 4 out of 10 times at least. Frustrating!

If only the story ended there.

A dialog box pops up that says that your password is not ‘strong’ enough. There you go again. You thought you can have same password for all the sites and get away with it? Hah! You thought you were very smart to come up with that kind of a ‘virgin’ idea of having a common password, and save yourself the trouble of remembering the zillion passwords, didn’t you?

Yes, why not?? In an ideal world…

But, we do not live in an ideal world.

So you start thinking of a ‘stronger’ password, one that you will recall easily, yet one that is not too easy to hack, yet one that is a tab bit complex.

Hmm…so now you enter a ‘stronger’ password, scribbling it on a sticky note or on the back of your diary or on some parchment to save it for future reference.

And then you hit ‘submit’ once again and wait for the system to accept it. You have your fingers crossed and wait with bated breath.

There pops open a dialog box once again and asks you to have an ‘alphanumeric password’ that includes ‘Special characters’ and a ‘Combination of upper and lower case’ or something irritating like that.

Hah! And you thought you can get away with a password that is a combination of your first name, last name and birth of date? You thought that would be easy to remember, didn’t you?

How you wish! But, we do not live in an ideal world. The system makers are always thinking one step ahead of the system users. You proceed to tear your sticky notes and parchments. Useless they are now.

You put on your thinking hat and try to come up with a very, very complex password, one that will have all the required features and one that will ‘have’ to be accepted.

You note it down somewhere, because it’s so complex that you won’t remember it yourself for ‘Confirm your Password’ section if you don’t. This time you pray it gets accepted.

And finally it does. Prayers work. You feel victorious. You heave a big sigh of relief that it’s all over, the agony, the frustration, the irritation. You feel triumphant.

Once you are past that jubliant stage, you are expected to answer few memory recall questions, in case you forget your password.

–          What was your first telephone no?

–          What is the name of your first school?

–          What was the number of the first car you owned?

–          What was the city you first lived in?

And you wish, at least these questions were standard throughout. But again, this is not an ideal world. How many times do I have to repeat myself?

You think you are finally sorted. Only till you realise that what you ended up finally making is so complex a password that it almost always takes 2-3 failed attempts (thanks to typos) before you are able log in, after punching in really slowly and correctly. Sigh.

Facebook, Gmail, Yahoo, LinkedIn, WordPress, Banks, Amazon, Ebay, Flipkart, Other online shopping portals, Travel sites,  a dozen or so job search portals’ user ids and passwords, Android, Apple id, Skype, Yousendit, Twitter, work email, database access passwords……the list is growing everyday.

I am getting lost in this maze. I am not able to keep up with this. I feel bogged down. I have to do something to bring a sense of order into this disorder.

I am making an excel sheet of all the ids and passwords. RIGHTNOW.  Before I reach a nervous breakdown.


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