Remembering Your Passwords
Remember back in the day when a password was something memorable – yes, possibly cryptic, but memorable. Life was so straight forward back then.
For me it all seemed to start with banking. The instructions for coming up with a password went something like this:
- Don’t use your date of birth;
- Don’t use you address;
- Don’t use your name;
- Don’t use any of your family’s names;
- Don’t use anything in general, that people who know you, may be able to guess;
- Don’t write your password down; and the sucker-punch
- Something that you’ll remember.
Rule 7 was the most difficult of course. After all your memorable information had been outlawed, you had to think laterally. Maybe 2 words together, maybe something that you owned, now think ‘eye spy’. Ah – ‘redbed’ – that’s my new password – ‘redbed’. No one’ll guess that.
So ‘redbed’ became your banking password. Now Internet shopping started coming online and demanded passwords. Message boards wanted login details to help distinguish you from others. So, ‘redbed’ was used for a dozen more password protected sites, until one day when the fashion changed, and you were faced with the following message –
“Your password must contain at least 7 characters”. Ah, OK, think, think. Yes, go plural ‘redbeds’. That worked for a bit. The tricky thing with now having 2 passwords, was which one did you use with which login account? I could go back and change them all, but life’s too short. Now, 2 passwords lasted for a short time until…..
“Your password must contain at least 1 letter and 1 number and be more than 7 characters long”. This made 3 different passwords. Then we have, “Your password must contain at least 1 character, 1 number, 1 upper-case letter and be at least 7 characters long”, then “Your password is too weak, be aware of Mensa geniuses, we need at least 8 characters”.
Before too long you have more passwords than friends and no way of remembering which password belonged to what account. What do you do???
Wouldn’t it be easier if you just had to remember just 1 password. Just like in the good old days? Well, enter password generators like onelastpass. I’ve been trialing this for moths now and I must say, I like it. I like it a lot.
Now I’m the sort of person who struggles to remember a 4-digit pin code and I’ve been living the experience mentioned above for years. How on Earth would someone with a learning or memory disability cope with passwords?
Onelastpass (www.onelastpass.com) works by asking you to just remember one password, that is 6 or more digits long and can contain anything you wish (all lowercase letters, numbers, whatever you like). When you enter the password, it generates an almost uncrackable password by using an algorithm using both your password and the website address that you’re logging in to.
Nice and Easy does it
Onelastpass will generate a password straight from the Onelastpass website. However, the plugin (only available for the Chrome browser), makes things much simpler. I feel a scenario coming on…
Imagine you are shopping at amazon.co.uk. First of all, you need to register an account with them. This involves using your email address and a password. The email address is pretty easy. It stays the same. However, the password can be more tricky. Whilst on the Sign up page, enter you email address and then click on Onelastpass’s icon next to the address bar. You will find that amazon.co.uk is automatically populated in the website address field.
There are now 2 more fields for you to enter you 1 password in each. If you’ve used the plugin before, then you only need to type in the password once so that it matches the one it remembered from last time (but doesn’t display the characters). If you tick the ‘remember the Key’ check box, then you don’t even have to re-type the password. Just click the ‘Generate Password’ button and it will do just that, and more. It will also automatically populate any Password boxes for you.
To give you an example, these are 2 examples that I generated for amazon.co.uk
My password I used for Onelastpass = 123456 Generated password = u_T6clawvk_=vT3ec60_
My password I used for Onelastpass = 654321 Generated password = yV2=rk+2a_9sMXt5Qg*2
Every time I go back to amazon.co.uk to sign into my account, I just fill in my email address, click on the Onelastpass button next to the address bar, click ‘Generate Password’ and that’s it. I do the exact same steps for every other site’s login procedure, safe in the knowledge that a unique password is generated for each different site. Need I say I don’t use 123456 for my Onelastpass password?
So, What’s the Point?
The point I’m trying to make is that for people who struggle with passwords, though wish to keep things private, there are options available.
I wouldn’t suggest that this will work for all. There are people where alarm bells should ring when reading this and putting it against such tasks as Internet shopping. If a person struggles with reading, then there are options to counter act this by using such tools as screen reading software, though people need to be ultimately aware of what they are doing.
Also, tasks that require you to enter certain digits of a password (e.g. the 3rd, 6th and 8th character), such as found on banking sites will still need to be carried out manually.
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