A pass on the password

Photo by Junior Teixeira on Pexels.com

My computer has finally gone too far. While this is not a picture of my computer, it captures the essence of my computer’s attitude (yes, my computer has an attitude). My computer is a nasty, smugly grinning monster who only knows three words: What’s the password?

For a person whose memory vaguely resembles a Swiss cheese, remembering passwords can be a real problem for me. Sometimes, I can remember passwords and account numbers and how to do math in my head. On other days–most days, I panic if someone asks for my birthdate!

Since the beginning of the password craze, I have had difficulty. What should I use for a password? I tried the standard my mother’s maiden name or my favorite Disney character, but apparently my mother’s maiden name is too easy to guess and too many people chose Cinderella! At one point, I was so frustrated, I even tried a profane word and received a morals lecture from a computer program!

Once we’ve actually come up with passwords, we’re not supposed to write them down! Right, I’m going to remember a password that is a mixture of numbers, upper and lower case letters and symbols in a random order. Is it the # before LJm2? or did some computer app force me to update it to something even more bizarre?

Don’t write them down, the computer experts (my children) say; someone might break into your house and find them. So, I tried to be inventive. I put them on sticky notes and put them under my good dishware in the china cupboard. I broke my best bowl because I was having trouble reading the password upside down and typing it in to my computer. So, I tried writing it on the inside of a meat paper wrapping in the freezer: Roy made hamburgers one night and there went the wrapping paper. Okay, so I need to remember them.

I solved this by not turning off my computer until some random article in a magazine guilted me into giving the computer a break and allowing for updates. I turned it off. Guess what? It needed passwords to turn back on! I remembered some of them; others, it let me change. The ones that really stymied me were mostly ones that my children helped me set up. So I sent out a frantic call: They’ve locked me out of Netflix, what is the password? I received a GIF of Jean Luc Picard shaking his head and holding his forehead.

Now, my children are usually very helpful. My daughters patiently go over the instructions time after time, but I can always tell they are impatient with their old mother – “No Mom, just press the button once; we don’t double click any more.” My older daughter and her husband are both slightly scoffing and the younger daughter bites her tongue a lot, I know. The most helpful of them all is my younger son-in-law. He’s truly a whiz and he does so much, but he has this look he gets when he’s trying to help me, that makes me suspect that he’s secretly screaming on the inside.

So, I’ve come up with a surefire method with passwords: I use one for everything and I’m going to share it with you now. My password for everything from now on is, I take a pass on passwords! Oh, but don’t tell anyone, okay? My daughters said it’s not good to give those passwords out! Thanks!

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