Password Purgatory

What is my problem? I can’t remember my passwords to most of the websites or apps.  From the experts, I hear reminders often to make passwords easy to remember but difficult to crack. Don’t use birthdays or addresses or kid’s names. Include a symbol, a number, and upper and lower case letters, they say. And do not use the same password for multiple sites, they say.

It takes me a long time to come up with something brilliant, something that I won’t forget like my dogs’ names with a character or numbers between the names. I combine addresses and symbols, texts, titles, authors’ names. Sometimes, I just put my head down on the desk and sigh, waiting for an epiphany to flash upon me with some amazing code word that no one will be able to crack.  The pressure is just too much.

But alas, everytime I log on to a site to retrieve some information, I can’t remember the particular passwood for that site. At one point I had post-its with passwords pasted all over my bulletin board, but I forgot to write which website and password go together.

Then my son, the common sense computer genius, suggested Password Padlock. What an awesome idea! A password safe.  In Password Padlock, I can set the category of the site, the web address, the username, the password for that site, and write notes to myself about things connected to each site, if need be. Ironically, there is a password for the program but no place to store that password.

Problem. When a website changes its name or I need to change information related to that website, I often forget to update the information in Password Padlock.  Once again, I’m up the proverbial creek .

For example, I want to get a bit of info on a bill I owe, so I log on to the website, type in my username, and don’t you know, I can’t remember the password. No problem. I click on the Padlock to retrieve said information and discover that the password doesn’t work because the last time I went to that site, I changed information and forgot to record it.

Thank goodness the website where my bills are located has a phone number. I am beginning to think it is just easier to call the company and speak to a person, if I can get one. I often have to navigate through the automated phone service and then wait on hold until a “service representative is available,” but I think that is still preferable to dealing with a concussion from banging my head on my desk because I can’t remember my passwords.

One of these days I’m going to get my act together. I am seeing improvement from time to time in my navigatory skills around the computer, but whenever I run into a problem and have to ask for help, my faithful loved ones roll their eyes, sigh or groan, and say that the problem is a “user error.”  Thank you for that confidence builder, kids.

The fun part, though, is when I can tell someone else how to retrieve something. Most of the time, I pay attention to the instructions that I receive from my technologically adept children, and then I pass along my new found knowledge to other inept operators such as I. We are in a special class.

So, never fear, friends of the operator error class, we are never too old to learn a new trick. Hang in there, and get Password Padlock. Just remember to update your information and keep a bottle of ibuprophen nearby.

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