For some reason nothing makes me quite as angry as being asked to enter a password and finding I don’t know what it is.
I started out in the halcyon dawn of the internet age with one password that I used everywhere, disregarding all advice on best practice. I told myself that I’d rather have my identity stolen than suffer the bewilderment of multiple passwords. But the system has its own way of stopping this. Every time Apple updates its operating systems it seems I have to create a new variant of my password, with ever more kinks and wrinkles. My strategy is to add bits on to the existing password. By now I have about six versions of my password, and I have no idea at all which one applies to iTunes, or my email account, or O2, or Southern Rail, or John Lewis… All demand a password, all work to different rules. The result is that when asked for a password I spend indefinite amounts of time tapping in variants that don’t work, and end up limp and impotent with rage.
My only consolation is that when the online fraudsters tackle me they too will be as baffled as I am. I imagine them gritting their teeth as they go through all the passwords they’ve managed to find that relate to my accounts, only to discover that none of them are quite right, just as I do. Perhaps that’s the object of the exercise. Perhaps some stern but benign deity knows it does us no good to manage everything through computers, and is slowly and deliberately strangling the entire online world.
So the rebel cry goes up, as it has done throughout history, ‘No pasaran!’ – ‘They shall not pass!’