For the Love of God, Don’t Forget Your Passwords

You know how when you log in somewhere online, your browser asks you if it could remember your password for you? Tell it to go screw itself. You see that convenient little check-box under the Log In button that says Remember Me? Don’t check that box. Don’t let the browser remembers you, because otherwise you’ll forget yourself.

I’m not sure if this phenomenon just happens in my family, or if it’s a problem anywhere else. We get so coddled by our browser auto-login into our accounts that seeing a Sign In page turns into something of a horrorshow. Wait what’s my password again? If we’re lucky, the browser remembers our password for us. There’ll be little unreadable dots in the Password box. The browser’s way of saying It’s okay, baby. We got this.

And then your browser, or your computer, breaks down and you can’t access it anymore. And then maybe you have to sign in into the account through a different device, and your old computer is nowhere to be found. And then it happened five minutes next to a deadline and you’re panicking your ass off that you’re locked out of everything you have online.

We have advanced to the age where we rely so much on digital storage, on services under the lock-and-key of Usernames and Passwords. Or in other words, a name and an arbitrary set of letters and numbers. Trust me, that’s way easier to lose than a physical key.

Now, I don’t care if you have a legendary memory and you think there’s no way you’ll forget your passwords. If you don’t use it for a couple of months, it’ll have the same place as random little anecdotes in your head: you could retrieve it perfectly if you’re lucky, but most likely it’ll only be in little bits and pieces. So the best way to remember your password is by using it. By repeating it. Over and over again.

So do away with those auto-login and password reminders. Enter your password whenever you want to get into the system, even if that’s multiple times a day. Sure, it’s a hassle. Why do it when there’s an easier way, right? But it’ll be worth it, trust me. It’s a small price to pay for not being locked out of your account forever because you’re an idiot.

I’m not necessarily saying that auto-login is a bad thing. It’s okay for smaller services. Something which password you can still retrieve, like the sort where you can just fill a Forget My Password form so they’ll send a link to your e-mail. But then what about your e-mail account’s password, huh? Not to mention back accounts, which are security nightmares you’re making worse by handing off the key to to your browser.

Don’t forget your password. Type it in every time your logging in. Repeat it in your fingers.

Or you could just write it down. Please do that too if you’re really forgetful. Just keep it secure, and no one’s going to laugh at you for doing it.

PS: This is not a bloody excuse to use a weak password. Use a strong password, but one that you can type in comfortably. But that’s a rant for another day.

 

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8 thoughts on “For the Love of God, Don’t Forget Your Passwords

  1. Or, alternatively, use a password manager software. All you have to is remember the master password, and use it to generate a complete gibberish password for each website that you frequently visit. This way, not only does this produce a hella strong password, it also forces you to type in your master password every time you want to log in.

    (and in addition to that, having different passwords for each websites are also good for security purposes, so there’s that!)

    Also, ‘sup, Monny! Long time no see (or talk, rather). Glad to see you’re still active with your blog!

      1. Yeaaaahh been pretty busy with school, and on the internet I’m a lurker by nature, so yeah, can’t really blame you for assuming I’m dead.

        I’ve been learning some programming languages (along with computer science) lately. How about you? Do you still write, or have you been doing something else lately?

      2. Honestly thought you’re dead. I still occasionally, randomly, opened one of your websites/pages and I never see an update. Are you still making music?

        Surprisingly, I’ve stopped trying to learn programming or computer science. I’ve got the basic, just don’t have a reason to pursue it any further than that.

        Still write. Nothing concrete though, just bits and pieces, some of which I post on my Tumblr. (Finishing stories is a monster I have not yet bested). I’m also a contributor to id.techinasia.com now, writing about video games, though it’s been a while since I’ve submitted an article. I’m more active on twitter (@PseudoStygian) than wordpress nowadays, in case you want to know what else I’m up to.

      3. Nope! I’d still like to make music, at least, but my mind is more occupied with trying to learn how to properly speak C and Python as of late. Incidentally, what makes you learn programming in the first place, even if it’s just the basic?

        Just checked your twitter, and, man, I just _knew_ you’d be playing the same game that almost everybody around me play, too! Now, while I’m pretty sure you don’t need to be told this (and by a random stranger on the internet, even!), but be careful playing that, okay? I almost got involved in human trafficking playing that.

      4. For a second there I thought the game is “making fun of US politics” but I guess you mean PokeGo? Holy crap dude, what happened? I play it sparingly, and I’m paranoid in public, so you betcha I’m careful.

        Programming, mm. I dunno, man. I started coding html/css when I was 9 because of Neopets. And then when I was 13 or so I found a place that teach Python so I thought, what the heck, let’s try it out.

        Still hoping to make games one day, but I guess I don’t have the dedication yet.

      5. No no no, I’m just joking about the human trafficking part! Your reaction was not as hyperbolic as I thought it would, haha.

        Never actually played PokeGo before, because of three reasons: 1. I broke my smartphone, 2. I don’t go out very often anyway unless it’s absolutely necessary, and 3. Clearly the game’s demographic is for people with social life anyway! While I do think the game’s a truckload of fun, it’s just better to play it with a group of friends, just like party games or something.

        Making games is in fact the whole motivation of me trying to learn programming, but then again, don’t most teenagers out there?

        By the way, why would you thought I was talking about a game that’s “making fun of US politics”? Were there any tweets from you talking about it that I happened to miss?

      6. I actually think PokeGo is very, very good for the no-social-life demographic. It encourages them to go out and actually meet people… kinda doesn’t work well here because our cities aren’t pedestrian-friendly much, huh? “Taking a walk” isn’t a thing here.

        My twitter timeline is fuuull of politics cause I follow some politic-aware authors and gamedevs, but I guess it’s not apparent just from my tweets haha. I just kinda get disillusioned by the whole thing.

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