OPINION: How many letters, words, numbers, acronyms do you have to remember, every day, asks Pat Veltkamp Smith in And Another Thing.
Hundreds - and you only realise this when one slips from your mind and it seems like they are all connected, lose the first and the lot are gone.
We are not supposed to write down any of these passwords or codes or identity references but get past your mother's maiden name and see how easy it is - not.
The trick might be to let all your family names come in some sequence or take one brother and use all his letters and birth dates, or your own, though that is not considered good form, thought to be unwise, yet your own are the only ones of which we can reasonably be sure.
Like lose a credit card, reapply and then try to change the numbers you have given in some digital transaction.
Or try to check something back on your computer, get in touch with what are laughingly called service providers, then try to explain who or what you are in words of one syllable.
It is not enough to find a password. There are other words which are called user name or owner's something else and while you may be the sole owner-user of a notebook, that is not enough, not by a long shot.
You cannot prove it, that's then the problem. It is not a question of why should you have to but rather that you are unable to.
That's how you start offering your mother's maiden name forgetting that's a banking requisite - and then try to remember what passwords you have been using. Like once we had to change a password seemingly every week and at the end of six weeks it was hard not to start reusing familiar sequences of letters and numbers which resulted in being shut out of the system.
“An attempt has been made by an unidentified person to access this computer/bank account/cloud offering” or whatever.
You want to say, that was me. But, hey, who's listening? There's no-one there. It is like losing your own door key, and standing outside in the rain.
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