Security and Passwords

I’ve been thinking about passwords and security questions lately. I saw an article that said one of the most common substitutions people make for passwords is using numbers as letters. Oops. There goes one of my tricks.At the same time I’m dealing with aged parents who can’t remember either their passwords or the answers to their security questions. Who knew you might forget the color of your first car?

My husband’s theory is that he won’t ever have to get into any of my accounts, but I worry that people at work might. Even this blog has a password, after all.

Someone suggested using the initial letters of a sentence as a password. Sort of the reverse of Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge which gives the musical letter name of the lines on the staff. Computers won’t be able to guess what seems like a random combination of letters. Throw in some numbers and capitals and those hackers should be really confused.

Here’s the problem, however: what sentence could you remember accurately every time? I don’t even remember the words to songs right all the time. (Isn’t that why they invented humming?) I remember: four score and twenty years ago our …somet

hing something .. brought forth a new nation. And the 23rd psalm definitely begins: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. But sometimes you have to have more than eight letters for that password.As for security questions, I have often used my favorite author. Unfortunately, I have more than one. Mother’s maiden name at least doesn’t change. But is that information now available on the web for anyone to find? It certainly will be when my mother dies. Of course, the computer doesn’t actually know what you are answering. You could say you were born on Mars, and your mother’s name is Mars and your first date was Mars, for all the computer knows. That might be the best solution. Just make up a word that is the answer to all of your security questions. As long as you don’t forget that word!

PS: if anyone has any suggestions for good book discussion books, please pass them on.