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Cyber Insecurity

by Judey Kalchik about a year ago in cybersecurity
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Too Safe for my Own Good

Cyber Insecurity
Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash

Who are these people in my life that require me to create a 'strong password' for every website I use? What are their credentials? What are their explanations for the need to safeguard my grocery store loyalty card offers?

More to the point, and twice as vexing to me at the moment, who was I when I created those passwords?

I must have been under the spell of some TV show, book, sunspot, magician, TV show, carb-deprivation. I must have believed in the need to use a random batch of letters/numbers/symbols/capitals to safeguard my capability of earning fuel points. I know I certainly couldn't have been in my right mind.

Logging into my Kroger card doesn’t even approach my frustration to create a blog post. I've tried everything I could think of to log into WordPress: pets, teachers, streets, colors, dates, nicknames, maiden names, schools, jobs. Nothing. Not even sure what email address I was using when I set it up. Which IP did I have? Was it a work email? Did I create a Gmail just for that reason?

I check out the little notebook in the desk drawer, the one that's supposed to keep me organized. Starting at the first page I leaf through it passing password after password scribbled among birthdates, shopping lists, tire pressure settings, shoe sizes, and the one-time daily recording of my weight that had been meant to encourage a healthier me.

Nothing.

So, I checked the Notes app on my phone. Sighing in frustration I promise myself to organize these random notes once and for all so I can finally FIND SOMETHING when I need it. I even checked the note labeled ‘These are not passwords’ because, although I figured I likely meant it when I wrote it just MAYBE I called it that to foil a password stealer. No. I did not. They actually weren't passwords.

It is second-guessing my second-guesses that makes me second-guess this time after time. I should probably delete it. Or rename it. Or create a note with just passwords. Yes- that’s what I’ll do. Some other time.

Go back to WordPress. Grimly I search for some help from the site. Where is the 'I give up' link? Where is the one that will send me a way to log in? The one... yes! That one! There!

Pressing it I find my wild flailing and clicking has exceeded the patience of the password pixie and I was placed in time-out for 'a few minutes'. Pro Tip: Mashing the mouse button over and over does not hasten time-out. You are welcome.

New link sent.... to my oldest email address. Of course it would be that one. I now attempt to retrieve personal email on a work laptop without a saved log-in password for the account. Predictably this requires yet another forgotten password and is unsuccessful. I contemplated guessing at that log-in info, too, then gave up and opened the link through my phone's Outlook app. Then completed the re-set including a heartfelt resolution to enter the new password into a safe a predictable place for easy future retrieval. Even as I think the thought it starts to evaporate.

Unsubstantiated confidence bubbles through my mind- I know I will remember this password. It is simple. Intuitive. Mine and mine alone. Writing it down, storing it away; these are the actions of a weak person! These are not things that I need to do. I got this.

Taking my hard-won password I carefully login to WordPress on the laptop, ‘cause mama can't make a blog post on the phone screen this time of night.

This is crazy. Nutso. I have no illusions about the information I post, the opinions I share. I have no top-level secrets. Heck- no online banking. Not even any secret family recipes. Just my thoughts.

This cyber-security doesn't make me feel safe. It makes me feel very cyber insecure.

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About the author

Judey Kalchik

It's my time to find and use my voice.

Poetry, short stories, recipes, and a lot of things I think and wish I'd known a long time ago.

You can also find me on Medium

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