Passwords

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

This repost was published in hindsight, on 11 March 2019.

Fiona wrote:

I have been uneasy for a while about my passwords, but being dyslexic and a bit lazy there was not an obvious solution to make it more secure and not lock me out. The problem that I have is anything that requires memorising a string of letters numbers and symbols just does not work in my brain. I have over come this for my normal passwords by having a small number (around 5) and adding a new one every so often and losing an old one. I take two to three words that I can spell (not a very long list) and then change them with substitution of some letters for numbers. On one occasion I managed to get punctuation in there also. However, they are used in many sites, and are easily broken in to.

Following Dan’s post on passwords combined with a visit to Dan we started looking at other solutions and settled on last pass. This looked like a good option for us. I very carefully set up the account paying close attention to where it said make sure you remember your password. The first password I chose was tolerably strong, I had not used it before and it followed the proven pattern of how I remember passwords. When I typed it in to change something it would not work. Knowing that lastpass will not let me do anything if I cant remember my password I made a word doc changing each part of the password to see where I went wrong and trying it in the filed, fourth time lucky I got the password. I then realised that this was not going to work as the bit I got wrong was an inconstancy of treating one letter as a number. So I reset my password using the old copied password.

I texted myself my new password and copied it from my phone, checked that it worked with a second sign in. Then I continued to set up my sites for last pass to sign in. When Kit came home we decided it was best if I had to write out my new password as often as possible to get it in to my head, this did not work. And after 20 min of trying every combination I could think of the same way I had before I called Kit through to see if he had any ideas. In the end the only option was the delete account and start again option. So we hit show password on the screen and copied each password in to a word doc, then we shut down the account.

This morning I have set up a new last pass account, and because my dyslexia has not gone away over night I have a new stratagie. I use SuperGenPass to change a simple password in to a more complicated password and the resulting password is used to sign in to Last Pass. This might seem convoluted, but in a world where things that I can remember are so insecure that polite coughing will open them up to anyone who chooses it is one of the few options that give security and will allow me to access my own accounts.

Anyway, I have to now go and change all my passwords again as the were made insecure in the rescue mission, but this time I have confidence of it working.

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