We live in an era where everything has to be password protected. I remember when this phenomena first hit us – back then you just needed something simple; something you could easily remember. But then came the hackers and the warnings: never use the same password on your accounts. So we modified (the same password); after all, we needed so many that it was hard to remember them all. You needed to write them all down (sometimes in a straightforward way, but often a bit more cryptically). Then came the apps that could keep all your passwords safe and protected in one place – you only needed to remember one and it would unlock the safe to reveal all the others – you just needed to remember to update them whenever you had to reset a password.
Next came injunctions for more complex, less memorable passwords consisting of a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. And now whenever you are asked to set a new password you’re offered a dazzling combination that is impossible to make any sense of in order to remember – you need to write it down before you do anything else (including setting your password) which inevitably leads to either not writing it down correctly or not entering it correctly (especially on iPads and phones) which then necessitates having to re-set your password and then remember to record it and so the cycle goes on.
I confess to being one of those people who make use of the same password with clever variations (actually, they’re very standard and I’m sure a hacker would easily figure each and every one of them out), but even this gets me into trouble as inevitably, I can’t ever remember what the variation was. And because it’s often ‘three strikes and you’re out’ I’m forever having to reset my password, with, you guessed it, another variation on a theme. How else do you remember?