‘Please enter your password to login.’
The new pain
Isn’t this the new bane of our lives nowadays? First of all, log in is a phrasal verb and has been cruelly de-spaced. Secondly. ‘What is my password for this crappy little site I last visited in 2002?’ Having been around the Internet for over fifteen years now, my collection of sensitive, highly personal and completely forgettable login details are really starting to accumulate.
It seems everywhere you go on the internet now, someone or something wants you to create, remember and use a sodding password. Oh, not to mention a user name as well as possibly a twenty-two digit account number. Even for puerile sites such as for shoes, jokes, news or fonts. I tremble in fear when I’m faced with the necessity to create the dreaded ‘New User Login’.
While some sites want more information than one would be expected you to supply to a police officer after having been arrested for robbing a bank or committing an act of arson that killed twenty elderly people in a retirement home, others aren’t even satisfied with this. These want to keep getting information from you on a life time basis. Don’t you just love their pitch? ‘We use tracking cookies, so don’t worry. Everything is cool and above board because we are such nice people and give you our Scout’s Honour that we will not share your personal details with anyone at all. Cross our hearts and hope to die. We respect your privacy.’ Like hell they do!
And if that isn’t bad enough, it’s the choosing of a password that is the really terrifying part. Sure, we all have a favourite password we try to use over and over again to simplify our complicated and hopefully secure internet lives, but as sure as God made little green apples, it will be too short, too long, doesn’t contain any numbers, must have at least one symbol or is in use. So you create a new one to add to list of 1,234,432 passwords that you have (NOT) securely recorded in an Excel table. This is just after you have had to change your name because there are millions of other Bruce Williams in the world so you end up being labeled as ‘Bruce_Y_Williams_1298_A3’. So personal. Now you have another name for your (NOT) secure password and user name Excel table.
Then there is the very friendly ‘Security Question’. Well, sod off. I don’t want you knowing my mother’s maiden name, the name of my first pet or who I first kissed. Go away!
The newest invasion is by social networking sites. ‘Please validate your date of birth’. Why the hell do they need to know that? Are they planning on sending me a birthday card every year?
I doubt it.
Published February 2011 for Suite 101