Friday, March 07, 2008

Protecting important data

So you know how passwords usually have particular requirements?

Like, it has to be this many characters, and has to include a number or symbol, or you have to stand on your head when you type it, or whatever? I find some of them really annoying, although I understand the why of it. You want it to be difficult for other people to figure out.

The system for our online time recording requires us to change the password every three months. And you can't use the same password as the last three times. So I am constantly locking myself out and asking them to reset. It's really irritating for all involved.

But so many passwords I need, particularly at work, just don't matter. Nobody is trying to break into these applications, and if they did, they wouldn't get any important data anyway.

So my old boss sent out an email to a number of us who use a particular program. It used to be that we would all log in with the same login name, and use the same password.

But now we will each log in with our own email addresses, and he said he needed a password from each of us. He asked us please not to use a password we use for anything important. Like, he doesn't want know what we use for our online banking.

But he didn't give us any parameters. And I wanted it simple.

I was doing three other things and running off to a meeting, and didn't have the time to put much thought into it. So I hastily emailed him back with my suggested password and a question about it.

He stopped me in the hallway a couple hours later. He said, "I have to show you something that really made me laugh. And I'd like to thank you for it."

He pulled out his Treo and handed it to me.

On the screen was the email I'd sent him.

"How about Nick? Does length matter?"

And he said, "Lis, only you can answer that question."


  1. Hahahahahaha! Heeeeheeee! *snort*


    How about merkin? I doubt you'll ever forget that one...

  2. Ha! love it. And I think "merkin" is an excellent suggestion.

  3. Haha, great Friday giggle. Definitely classified information.

  4. Dagny - That is a fantastic idea! Hahaha! Thank you!

    Wendy - Yah, absolutely!

    HKW - Heh heh. Yah, top secret.

  5. haha... :-)

    I tend to make passwords out of friends names. For example,

    Vikram Kulkarni becomes

    The 00 at the end is for places that make me change the password periodically. The 00 gets incremented every time, so next time my password will be


  6. Damn, you make me laugh out loud, which made it OBVIOUS to my boss and everyone around me that I wasn't working... Damn.

    I've had the same password for years. It started with a boyfriend's nickname (that no one could ever guess), then I added a couple of letters when it went from 4 to 6 minimum. Then I do like vvk with the 00, then 01, then 02... as I need to update it. At my old job the password couldn't be the same as the last 24! It was hard coming back from a 2-week vacation and not remembering what number I was up to now.

  7. dying over here. dying. literally. dying.

    besides everyone knows that it's the width of the password that matters.

  8. hahaha

    that's priceless :-)

  9. That made me laugh out loud!

  10. VVK - I think I need to adopt some version of this, because I just don't seem to be able to remember them.

    Beach Bum - Oops, sorry!:) I think the adding numbers approach is a really good one.

    Slightly Disorganized - Ha! That made me laugh out loud!

    mrsmac - Thanks!

    Celtic Not - Hee hee! I'm glad!

  11. You crack me up. I laughed out loud and had to explain to MathMan what I was laughing about. That lead to a whole discussion about, well, nevermind. I do the name and number thing like VVK using The Actor's name with two numbers. Except, I can never remember which set of two numbers I've used.


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