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Set and Forget

Computers aren't that smart.

By Mark GagnonPublished 25 days ago 3 min read
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Set and Forget
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

I was immersed in my usual Tuesday night routine, meaning I was half watching television and half surfing the web when a notice popped up on my computer screen.

IT’S TIME TO CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD!

I miss the good old days when a person only needed to set something up once and it was good for life. There are door locks that were made in the middle ages that are still in use today. My car door came with a lock and an alarm that will never need changing, so why do I have to mess with my passwords? After all, who could figure out ABC 123? Looks secure to me!

The next question is which password am I supposed to be changing? Is it the one to access my laptop, my bank account, my credit cards, or maybe my library? Since I use the same password for everything that requires one, do I have to update every account or just one specific one? This is so confusing.

I like to keep my life as simple as possible, which is why I use the same password for all my accounts. Most of my friends carry a piece of paper in their wallets or a small notebook with all their passwords in it. Imagine what might happen if someone got their hands on that notebook. Their whole life would be accessible to the thief. My system is so much better than theirs. Now, this dumb box wants me to change my well-crafted password.

What’s even more aggravating is my computer won’t tell me why I need to change it. It reminds me of the times when I asked my parents why I had to do something and their only answer was, “Because I said so, that’s why.” That’s it, this is technology’s version of my parents. I will change my password because the box told me to. No other explanation is required.

There is so much about this password stuff I don’t know. Some sites ask me to use one capital letter followed by some numbers and a specialty character. What the hell is a specialty character, and does my keyboard have one? Other sites only want lowercase letters, no numbers or specialty characters. Again, with the specialty characters! Of course, I can always use the password my computer generates. It consists of a string of twelve letters, numbers, and symbols, and whatever else can be thrown into the mix.

Just how in the world am I supposed to remember that kind of gobbledy gook? I can see myself standing in front of an ATM in a questionable neighborhood on a cold rainy night trying to remember my password. Or maybe I’m out with friends at a nice restaurant and it’s my turn to buy a round of drinks. The server brings over a hand-held device so I can swipe my debit card and it asks me for my password. What do I tell the waiter? “My password is in the cloud. Get it from there.”

Nope! I will not be that guy digging through his wallet for a tiny scrap of paper with a ridiculously long string of letters, numbers, and, of course, specialty symbols just to buy a soda. I’ve given it a lot of thought and believe I have the perfect password. It’s not too long so I can easily remember it. My computer won’t reject it because I’ve never used it before and I defy anyone to crack it. The masterpiece I’ve chosen is 123 ABC. Once all my accounts have been converted to this new passcode, I’ll feel much more secure. And guess what, no specialty characters.

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About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling around the US and the globe. Now it's time to draw on these experiences and create what I hope are interesting fictional stories. Only you, the reader, can tell me if I've achieved my goal.

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