What’s in a name…and password?

I’m not sure that I was born in the into the right decade. “Right” in terms of appropriateness and suitability based on my capacity to adapt to technological change. I really do believe that had I been born some time before this completely technologically driven world, I would be a much happier person in my day-to-day dealings and there would be a lot less stress in my life. But somehow, being born as I was some 40 odd years ago, I have now been rocketed right into the middle of a world where everything runs and requires an upload or download or app or program or whatsit or whatsup, and usually also a password. And as much as I try to be as simple as possible in my choice of characters, numbers, sequences, caps or smalls, I am always plagued by the same problem: passwords.

Whether it is to do internet banking or buy electricity or connect on social media like facebook (a pet hate since it confuses the hell out of me why someone who lives 5kms away from me wants to befriend me on facebook but doesn’t even feign recognition when I see them at school drop-offs ) or log into a site for research purposes, everyone wants to know my damn password. Even more frustrating is when they ask for my user name and I cannot recall whether my user name is my real name in smalls and surname in caps or surname  first with initial as caps or a nickname with smalls. I mean, how do you go through life not knowing your own name? It’s becoming so tricky that I could almost call it an identity crisis.

But today’s attempts must surely be rated as THE worst for what I have now decided to term “PORP” (the process of remembering passwords) and hope that it will be one of new slang words to be entered in the common dictionary.
I was trying to log into an academic site for research purposes and since I had, once again, forgotten whether my user name started with my new email address or ended with a small initial or big number or contained more than 9 characters and included my deceased’s aunts old car number plate sequence, I was stumped. So I tried to send an email to the site concerned to ask for my user name but in order to enter the site, I needed a password. What the hell?

Many wise women (and men) have told me the secrets of safe passwords: try to keep them all the same and then they will be easy to remember.Or, write them all down and put them somewhere near your computer. This advice, I have to say, must surely be flawed since, if all my passwords were the same, or displayed openly for the world to see, then anyone who manages to find my correct name – lucky them, because I never find the damn thing- will theoretically be able to enter into my whole world with one silly password and not only buy enough electricity to keep Escom out of liquidation, but clean out my bank account and take all my friends!

Of course, I am exaggerating the problem of passwords but I think you get the general picture.
So my youngest daughter comes home today with a new website that has been prescribed for homework, some maths exercise thing that is compulsory and will be checked by the teacher to see if she has accessed or not, which …yep, you guessed it, needs a name and password. And she is so excited because she knows her name- unlike her idiotic mother – AND the password and watches in anticipation as the predictable red font comes up declaring (it may as well have had a tongue sticking out as the symbol) declaring USERNAME AND PASSWORD INVALID.
And so once again, I failed to pass the PORP and I just wanted to know, if any of you out there also feel PORPED like I do? Please, please all you password protectors, tell me how you pass the PORP ….

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