Forgot your password?
Most of us have so many passwords it becomes incredibly difficult to remember all of them and every time we change our mobile phone, we often have to reinstall a program or notify organisations or do some other administrative task. It becomes all too confusing.
Recently my iPhone was stolen, and I think it took me almost two days to deal with the issue, and even then, I still did not have a complete backup. Unfortunately, I hadn’t been checking on my backups and my last backup was more than a year ago, resulting in all the information from that date to this being completely lost. My own fault, but I’m sure I’m not alone.
One of the many other issues with passwords is that we tend to use fairly simple passwords that we can actually remember, and we use them across multiple platforms. It is, of course, a mistake.
If you think this is a problem, think about what happens when you pass on to hopefully a better place, although I certainly have my doubts about that. Without a list of your passwords attached to your Will, you create an extraordinary nightmare for your executors or those you leave behind.
It’s important to have a complete list, but a word of caution – do not keep that list on your telephone which can be hacked, or on your computer which can also be hacked.
It’s all very well using one of the so-called password protected areas, but if they can hack the Pentagon, what chance do we have?
The most effective way would seem to be to list them all on your computer, download it onto a USB stick and delete the information from your computer, remembering that even deleted information can be recovered.
Even as a lawyer, the privacy conditions at times drive me almost demented. For example, from time to time I’ll get a call from a banking institution or some other financial institution or even a government institution.
They start by asking me, “am I speaking with Peter Nevile?” My response is, these days, “well, you’re calling me. You should have some idea who you’re calling. Perhaps you can start by giving me your full name, where you’re from, and some evidence that you’re from there, or perhaps a number at which I can call you back. By the way, it may not be convenient so what if I call you after hours, if you could just give me your private number and your surname. What? You can’t? I suppose that’s privacy, but here you are calling me seeking personal details about me.” An all too familiar scenario.
At times, I get so frustrated I ask them if they have my password. Much the same as I need to have a password, or a series of security questions if I need to get access to my own accounts. Of course, they don’t, but perhaps that’s just me being difficult.
Anyway, I suspect that many of you will have experienced the frustration, however in this present world there is no way of avoiding it, so we simply need to deal with it sensibly. •