When Simplifying Passwords Backfires

Now this is totally a conundrum that you can file under #FirstWorldProblems but do you suffer from this too? The issue at hand is remembering the numerous variations of a once common password to get into multiple online accounts and services. Let me explain.

Once upon a time I would have been the best target for an all-out online hack. Everything from my bank account to my work profile to my Facebook was all under the same password I had held dear since early high school. When I needed to log in to a service I just quickly punched in the pattern of keys on my keyboard that had become second nature to me and I had access to whatever service I needed. I identified tremendously with my out of order phrase combined with my random four digit number that made up my password just because I used it so much to perform basic functions of my everyday life.

However, over the past couple of years with enhanced security measures, real hacks into a couple of my accounts, and my subscription to new services I no longer have one uniform password for everything. Rather I have a variation of my once standard password for numerous accounts and let me just say at this point it is flat out confusing.

Every now and then I have to reset my password for my work computer, my employee account, and a personal e-mail account among other things. Not wanting to totally ditch the password I have used for years I have simply added a number at the end of my original password to satisfy the requirement that I change. This worked fine at first but I started to get a little thrown off when I had to change my password second and third times around, especially because the former passwords all expired at different times. What I started to do (as it actually became a requirement for passwords used in these services) was to add a capital letter into the mix. This allowed me to continue to use a version of my once standard password but has since led to several different versions.

About a year ago my Twitter account and Facebook account both got corrupted a couple months apart. This made it necessary for me to change my passwords. Although of course instead of completely revamping my old password I just added minor edits to my prized longstanding one. As it seems like for work and for personal leisure as well I am continually subscribing to new services, platforms, social media outlets, etc., I am constantly in need of creating new passwords. When creating these pass codes I opt first with the old school, standard password I used to use for everything and if the service mandates that I use a combination of capital letters and more numbers I adjust. After a quick count in my head I have around twenty different accounts/services I utilize that I access based off of FIVE different variations of my once constant password.

The point has come to where I waste time remembering if I need to use extra numbers, a couple capital letters, or both to access different accounts. Trial and error is a method I use very often. On some occasions I will get into work in the morning and even have to try a few times before successfully logging in on my computer because with all the different combos of passwords and with all the different services I access in between work logins I rattle myself. Amazing how a system I used to try to make things as simple as possible has turned into a giant guessing game of confusion.

I know there are certain apps out there that help people keep passwords straight. Maybe I should look at subscribing to one. For some reason though I think it might be more trouble than what it is worth considering one more password is probably involved. Suggestions anyone? Don’t Blink.

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