I had a problem.
I actually had a password problem. In fact I had many of them (passwords and their associated problems), and didn’t even know it. I’d bet that you have the same problems. Most of the information in our lives is accessible by knowing a username and a (simple) password. Think about how much of your personal information is available to anyone with the right password. Ever written your passwords down next to your computer? Saved them in an Outlook file? Have them in your phone? Ever had the same username as password? Don’t feel too badly, I did all of those. Luckily I have some really smart, really security conscious friends. So security conscious in fact that they won’t be even be referenced here by name. Trust me though, these guys know their stuff.
After it was all done, I found that I had over 75 user name and password combinations. Banking, school lunch, credit cards, mortgage, wireless network, PayPal, Amazon, 401(k), etc., etc. Some were slightly different, but most were the exact same seven letters and two numbers. User names were all over the place, depending on whether my wife set up the account and whether you could use an email address as the user name. Further complicating all of this was the varying password requirements of different sites (some require a capital letter, others a number, some both, etc.). What a mess. My horrible solution was to keep the password and username in an Outlook contact (albeit somewhat disguised). Some websites I had just given up on, always using the “Lost Password” functionality to log in – every time. Additionally, my usual password was very trivial and worthless, should someone who knows what they were doing actually try to crack it. Test your here. Mine could have been cracked in under 11 minutes by a PC. I was disaster waiting to happen. Read More →