Anyone else have one sneaky-evil-devil of a time thinking up new computer passwords?

It's bad enough that the IT folks at work insist we change up our passwords every month...which feels like we're changing every two weeks; just when my fingers have begun to automatically remember where to go each morning, I get the "your password will expire in 3 days, would you like to change it now?" prompt. And no, I would not like to. Ever. Neverever. ***raspberries***

Then there's the fact that I need a password for the computer itself, one for the network on which I store information, one for the timecard software site, one for benefits, one for the secure ftp site, one for professional development training, one for the department's online communications tool, one for my retirement account, one for the site where my junk mail goes to get it out of any situation where I might accidentally open it and unleash a corporate-wide plague on the system.

They must each be different passwords, IT insists. And they must each be changed at regular intervals to something completely different from the months before. And all completely unique from any other password ever thought up by me. I swear, I need a new alphabet. I need at least 8 or 10 additional letters (plus, of course, numerous numbers, symbols, and various other squiggles that you can create when you hit six keys plus the shift and that little Windows deelymajig on the lower left corner of the keyboard).

Those are just for my professional passwording needs. When you add in my buffet of personal passwords for gmail, MobileMe, Facebook, Blogger, Weight Watchers e-Tools, Twitter...the list is endless. The passwords are endless. My brain capacity, however, has hit its character limit, I think.

I love it when IT folks stamp their foot and swear to come at you with a steel-plated pocket protector if you -- gasp "oh the horror" -- write down any of these passwords that you might want to remember past, oh, the next 15 minutes. No, what happens is I don't write down my passwords, then I have to make a friendly call to India on a regular basis to chitchat with Abheer and tell him that, yes again, I forgot my password. At which time I will then be forced to change it. Yet again.

I'm curious, fellow technoslaves, how do you come up with original passwords? Better yet, how do you remember them all? Anyone try dirty words? On the other end of the spectrum, biblical references? I'd love to hear what others have to say. I've been through every backwards and forwards spelling of every pet, car, crush, TV show, showtune, and angsty 19th century poet I can think of (combined, let's not forget, with ampersands, percent signs, numerals, and random capitalization). How many teenage girls do you think have adopted iLuvtwilight4EVR. I could barely write it. Much less remember it. But I'm old and approaching senility. The youngsters have sharp minds. Hopefully they're not all fixated on Rob Pattinson's derriere.

So that would be: 2hot4rpattzButt
How about an insult: biteme2XuHO!
A foreign flair: adiosAmigo2day

This is getting worse than trying to come up with a clever personalized car tag in 7 characters or less. At least with that, it's yours 'til you ditch it. You don't have to replace it every 30 days.



AnneR said...

Changing passwords every month? Oy vay. What are you working on, national security policy?

I have used phrase acronyms in the past--"Life's a bitch and then you die" became my password, labatyd.

Amy said...

We're working on No Child Left Behind kinds of things. So in some ways...yes, national security!