Thursday, 29 January 2009

Public Service Blogging

The Paramour has been nagging me for ages about my password. Yep, singular - I've been using the same obscure minor deity from ancient history for everything since the Internet was invented. He regularly told me that this was a bad idea, that I should have different passwords for different websites, especially now I do my banking online. But I can't remember lots of different passwords, I wailed, especially if they have to combine words and numbers, and you say I'm not allowed to write them down. Correct, he would say, with an unattractive hint of smugness.

Last week, infuriated, I challenged him. 'How,' I said, 'do you manage your passwords, then, Mr Clever Clogs?'

'Car registration numbers,' he said, with a perceptible smirk of smugness.

Apparently he can remember the registration number of every car his family ever owned when he was a child, and every car he's owned since. (What is it about men's brains?) And he keeps written records saying things like 'red Audi' or 'green Saab'. Or 'first half red Audi, second half green Saab'. Which I think he is right in assuming nobody would guess stands for TLP 987G.

This in itself isn't much use to me, as I can't even remember the registration number of our current car. But it got me thinking, and I've come up with a suitable substitute. House addresses. Let me give you an example. Say my long-deceased granny lived at 27 Watery Lane, my best schoolfriend's mum lived at 96 Church Street, and the house where my family lived for a time in Sussex was 42 Middleton Road. That gives me three passwords: 27Watery, 96Church, and 42Middle. I can write them down as 'Granny's, Claire's mum, and Sussex'. Or even 'first half Granny's second half Sussex' - which would be 27waddle.

There are other options, too. Sports players, e.g. footballers, and their numbers, with a zero added if necessary - 'Ronaldo07'. People and part of their telephone numbers, e.g. area codes - 'Bob01892'. People and their birthdays, e.g. 'Sara1208'. I'm sure you can think of others.

'You've been nagging me about passwords for so long, why didn't you tell me this before?' I demanded, of the Paramour.

'You didn't ask,' he said, with the most insufferably huge dollop of smugness you have ever seen.

Gaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

8 comments:

Clare Sudders said...

OK, I'm sure you've thought of this, but now we know your system, if there are any unscrupulous hackers amongst us, it probably wouldn't take much to hack into you and the Paramour's bank accounts! We only have to researhc addresses of your nearest and dearest, or search DVLA records for previous cars...

Queenie said...

Surely you'd have to know our real names, for a start. I didn't think DVLA records were publicly available back to the 1970s. Also, the addresses I actually use are very old ones, with no connection to my current name.

The other thing I do, since the Paramour's intervention, is change my passwords regularly. So if you have a better solution to the password problem, bring it on!

Clare Sudders said...

No better solution, just paranoid about discussing such things in public! You'd be amazed at what people can find out with minimum digging. Which means I'm not telling you my method, so ner. ;o)

PI said...

Even worse - because money is involved - is remembering the thing you have to punch in in the shops. I do it so rarely I have to turn away and count on my fingers - using one of the sons old girl friend's name, which unfortunately has altrnative spellings. Life used to be much simpler.

HelenMHunt said...

Yes, why can't life go back to being simple?

KAREN said...

I use the same password nearly all the time, so it's easy to remember. Sadly, the whole family knows it too! I might try a couple of those suggestions :o)

Queenie said...

Oh PI, I know - I use the same four-digit number for all my cards (don't tell the Paramour!!). Helen, maybe it will if the whole financial world collapses!! Karen, that's the kind of thing that would have the Paramour close to apoplexy and lecturing you, wagging finger and all, about the risks you are running. But you have my sympathy as the 'easy to remember' bit was my main concern as well.

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