You’d think with a notebook full of passwords, and 10 fingers registered for biometrics that getting into my computer every morning to get to work would be a breeze. Well, it’s not. For some reason, when I’ve just washed my hands and dried them perfectly my fingerprint swipe just isn’t good enough for my laptop. ‘Swipe from first finger joint’ (or words to that effect), it says. I try four, five times. Then I start yelling. I’m SWIPING FROM THE FIRST FINGER JOINT, YOU IDIOT! After the third yell, Woohoo, suddenly I’m in, and life begins again.
I’m in, yes, but that’s not the end. Popups, ‘sign in to Google for backups and sync’. No, I don’t want to, so rack off. Then I want to sign in to both my Gmail accounts and my Drive accounts so they’re there all logged in and I can swap when I need to swap between them while working, but no! I get signed out of one if I go to the other. What’s the password again? I check the long list in my notebook because not all of them are in my head and I am asked to change them so often my brain couldn’t contain them all anyway. Then Avast wants me to save the password for this service and even IT wants a master password, but I don’t want any of it. I just want to get to work. GO AWAY!
Make another cup of tea and calm down. Some toast? The phone beeps, my index finger has peanut butter on it; I wipe it on a tissue, swipe to unlock the Motorola. Nope. Oh, wipe the finger again, wash hands again for pity’s sake (must register all 10 but haven’t had time) and press lightly. Nope. Press again. Nope. Swipe and try password. At last, they’re all numbers and I remember them, so I’m in. It’s Messenger. I hate Messenger. I liked it when Facebook sent emails and I could instantly read the message without having to log into Facebook with yet another password to see it. So I ignore it.
I check Google and find others suffer from this malady and it’s called Password Rage. More people must be suffering from it now because my search only goes back three years. It seems other people realise technology has created a monster. Hackers have made life harder for us all. It’s true that we already need a password to exist as a bank customer and with the Government. We’ll soon need a password to go to the toilet or have a shower, to leave the house (this is probably already a thing), to eat and sleep or walk the dog!
Computers were supposed to make life easier. What happened to that?
I guess it was always going to happen, this daily password and fingerprint stress and rage, what with the amount of times we have to use them. Results of a survey by Centrify, (whose findings have been mentioned in a story on the ‘Lifelock’ website), quote a UK password management company saying 25 per cent of us forget our passwords at least once a day. They say password rage can lead one to yell (we know that already) cry and yes, throw the odd tantrum.
So what is to be done? The best advice I’ve found is that since humans aren’t good at passwords we need to be more understanding. We also need to get it into our heads that hackers are at this very moment probably out dancing while their super high tech password-cracking programs are getting into our computers. In broad daylight. These boxes can apparently make up to four billion ‘cracks’ A SECOND.
Imagine what they can do with your password once they’ve cracked it. They can try all the social media sites, the banks and credit unions; get into your files, your finances, your health information, CentreLink and other government agencies. It’s like getting into your brain and taking over your body. Well, maybe not quite taking over your body, not yet. But your identity, for sure, they can take that, no worries.
You can always find out if your email address has been pawned or has been part of a breach by going to the HaveIBeenPwned.com website and typing in your email address. I did that and phew! No breaches so far. As long as this site can be trusted, but who’s paranoid?
So I’m advised by all the searches to get myself a password manager. Like, what? Hand over all my passwords to someone else to remember or so their computer systems can be hacked? Yeah, sure. But I’m assured that places such as KeePass, Dashlane or LastPass are all perfectly safe and good. But I groan when I read that the ones in my browser are good too, unless I’m separated from the browser. Another groan, password managers take time to set up, but wait — once it’s all set up you have to remember only ONE password. Sounds like Heaven.
Another option is to use double factor authentication, the same as when I login to my government account and have a text message sent with a code, right. Another piece of good advice from this website is to make passwords stronger, with 12 characters rather than only six or eight. Make it a combination of numbers, letters and symbols and make it not look like a word. Better still, choose five words without spaces such as Rumpencilglassclockpetrol and the hackers will be busy for the next five hundred years trying to crack it.
Next solution to cause problems will no doubt be voice authentication.