Solving Password Problems – The Quest for Password Prowess!

Password Problems: The New Frustration

Do you have password problems? Remember when we knew nothing more frustrating than getting locked out of our car… then someone invented computer login credentials? I’ll bet we can all relate to the poor fellow in this Pre-2000 viral video!

First, not only is it an inconvenient time-suck to begin password recovery, but it is frankly a little offensive that a machine can have such power over us when we are the boss, not it! It doesn’t feel fair!

None shall pass!
None shall pass!

A hunk of silicone and metal telling me, “None shall pass!” Is incredibly frustrating. However, the great news is: like the Black Knight of Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”, vanquishing password issues is possible.. albeit without the bit of silliness. You can become the victor in this quest—every time!

Have you been beaten up enough by the Password Beast? Are you ready to begin your quest for Password Prowess? Be forewarned, brave knight, in so much as this is “a quest,” plan on traveling. As your wizard friend, I will provide you with a carefully crafted map and cadre of defenses in the form of great knowledge. Now, let’s begin our journey as many journeys begin, by looking inward.

The Emotional Aspect

Password problems might drive us to tears as we feel a loss of control and a separation from our once friendly and inviting digital friend. It is as if the computer or iPad just got rabies and has viciously turned on us. Sometimes we even feel like it may have been something we did that caused the problem. We might experience feelings of inadequacy or feel stupid for forgetting our own password. In the back of our mind we consider the possibility that the computer is making the mistake, not us. The whole wonderful computer experience, in an instant becomes a nightmare. As the emotional aspects of this issue boil over we might eventually risk becoming a viral video on YouTube!

Inconvenience Factor

In addition to these very real and emotional aspects of password problems, there is the inconvenience factor. Authentication issues are aggravating because they slow us down, make us loose our train of thought, block our legitimate efforts to use our own computer, kill productivity and they just inject unnecessary complications into our already complicated life. We think to ourselves, “This should just work! It should not be this hard. Why does using my computer need to be this complicated? Can’t someone make this easier?” Fair questions, for which there are answers. In order to find them, we must trod through Password Purgatory. Let me tell you what to expect.

Password Purgatory

Password Purgatory is a deep and wide land we will explore in a series of articles designed to help you gain your crown of Password Prowess—power no mere mortal ought possess lightly. When we are done, you will have an understanding of the pearls, perils and pitfalls of the process! Here is the map…

  1. The Problem of Passwords
  2. The Purpose of Passwords
  3. The Authentication Process
  4. Password Recovery
  5. Anatomy of a Password
  6. Foolproof Password Storage
  7. Related Security Issues
  8. Password Nirvana

Now, before we go grabbing a sledgehammer as the preferred tool of access, let’s talk calmly about these little devils called “passwords” and let knowledge, understanding and wisdom be our guides.

Next, let’s look at the Purpose of Passwords as we continue our Quest!

Dana Haynes

The Quest for Password Prowess – Part 2 – Coming Soon.

2 thoughts on “Solving Password Problems – The Quest for Password Prowess!

  1. Hi Dana,
    I agree a large frustration for users is tracking passwords. We used to keep them in a excel spreadsheet. UNTIL one day I observed a colleague using a slick system. He whizzed in and out of his logged in websites almost faster than the eye could follow. He was using a program called KeePass. I have been very appreciative of it ever since. I keep over 700 unique entries in it. Its a database app of links to websites usernames and passwords and even has a comment field for those silly security question answers that one can hardly remember the answer. ?Did I put my home town as Pittsburgh or Upper St. Clair…. ugh?


  2. Yep. There is a way to organize our passwords in analog (paper) and on the computer. That is an excellent program for the PC. On the Mac, I think it would be an app called “OnePassword” which we will discuss.

    Thanks for your comment!

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