I’m Thinking of a Number…

…between one and inane.

I got to spend 30 minutes today trying to get a password to a new application. Yes, 30 minutes until I requested the help of Jesus, Mary, and all the saints. In vain.

After doing all types of tricks to try and get an acceptable password and FAILING, I finally went to the manual in order to try and avoid another “The password validation failed due to the following reason(s):” message. (And, yes, it was in that cloying green color!) Below is from the manual:

Here is a list of all the different rules that result in an acceptable password:

  • Passwords shall contain no more than three identical consecutive characters in any position from the previous password.
  • Passwords shall not be identical to any of the previous 6 passwords
  • Password must contain at least 8 characters and 14 at the most. * (Why no more than 14??)
  • Password must contain at least two digits. *
  • Password must contain at least two upper case characters. *
  • Password must contain at least two lower characters. *
  • Password must not start with a number. *
  • Password must not end with a number. *
  • Password must not contain tabs, spaces.
  • Passwords must contain a special character, with the exception of: commas (,), backslashes (/), double quotes (“), single quotes (‘), ampersands (&), curly braces ({}), or pipes (). *
  • Passwords shall not contain any proper noun or the name of any person, pet, child, or fictional character. * (I did NOT make this one up!!!)
  • Passwords shall not contain any employee serial number, Social Security number, birth date, phone number, or any information that could be readily guessed about the creator of the password. *
  • Passwords shall not contain any simple pattern of letters or numbers, such as “qwerty”, or “xyz123”.*

* indicates rules that I broke on different attempts to create a password before finding the goofy manual. Also, wrong things not among the rules but still offering the dreaded error message: no using the same letter two times in a row. So there may be additional hidden rules as yet uncovered.

Passwords are important security mechanisms. But not if they are so impossible to remember–because of STUPID rules–that you can’t remember them. So instead you see people with stickies under their desks, beneath their keyboards, or even right on the monitor because THEY CAN”T REMEMBER THEIR PASSWORDS.

That, at least to me, doesn’t seem very secure. [DKSAdkf12d& also not acceptable. I am still trying!]

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