Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The Computer Is Your Friend, Citizen!
I'm sitting in the Ft. Lauderdale Office of the Corporation, using the Lookout email client when it throws up this obnoxious message that my pasword expires in thirteen days.
Your password will expire in 13 days! Please hurry up and change it now! Now! Change it! CHANGE IT! You don't want to be caught with an expired password two weeks from now? Do you? Then what? You'll be without email, that's what! And guess what? To change your email password requires sending an email! But you can't! Because your password expired! Even though it won't expire for two weeks, I'll remind you every ten minutes to change it, because … well … XXXXXXX CHANGE IT ALREADY!
Okay, so it's not quite that obnoxious, but still, I find it annoying that it'll remind me several times a day that my password will expire. And the thing is—we have a 90-day expiration date for email passwords. Only it's not really 90 days, but 77 days if you don't want to look at the obnoxious “UPDATE ME” message.
I used to ignore it until a three days or so when this policy was first mandated, but now, I just give in and change my password when the computer wants me to change my password. I'm not in charge here, the computer is. Or rather, the Lookout server is in charge. Me? I just rotate through the same X passwords because coming up with a new password that meets the minimum standards of:
Minimum of six characters, but a maximum of five characters, all of which must be unique, at least seven of them must be alphabetic in nature, two must be numbers, and at least as many punctuation characters as there are vowels used, unless you used no vowels, then the maximum number must be no greater than the number of numbers used minus upper case characters.
Yeah, I just came up with X passwords that pass muster, wrote them down on a piece of paper (which if I'm caught with by Corporate Security results in no less than five hours spent in front of a “web seminiar” on “Computer Security And You! The Top Ten Things You Must Do To Ensure a Happy And Secure Computer.”
Yes, this bothers me just as much as that little number in the upper corner of the App Store icon on my iPhone, reminding me, taunting me, that I haven't updated in the last twenty minutes.
And here I thought computers were to serve our needs …