Saturday, 7 April 2012

When's a login a username or a PIN or a password or an ID or a passcode?

I don't know about you but I'm considerably annoyed by the plethora of web sites that I need to use which have enhanced security to such an extent that I cannot possibly remember all the different pieces of information I need to access them. If we are to have different password for every single web service we use (and I really recommend that you do that) then it is simply not possible to remember them all. For a start, you don't always get a chance to choose and might easily be saddled with the occasional 786cv33bN or similar.

On top of that I've noticed a definite trend to complicate matters even further. I can cope with a login and a password. I can even cope with a user name, a login and a password. What really annoys me is when the provider uses the word login in the sign up screen and then askes for a user name, or demands a passcode when they've earlier referred to it as a PIN. For goodness sake, if the provider can't stick to a consistent language, how on earth are us mere mortals expected to cope?

Because I am the guardian of so many password and login details for people for whom I've set up web sites, as well as all the ones that I have myself, I have to keep a list. But it's a list of cryptic clues - not the actual words. Just occasionally they're so cryptic that even I can't understand them!

Anyone who does internet banking, online communication with their GP's surgery, their school intranet, their Hotmail account, logs into Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, MSN Messenger, Flickr or a hundred and one more online services must either use the same identification for many or keep a list. It's not humanly possible to do otherwise. Ergo the more online stuff we do, the more insecure it all becomes.

P.S. That last posting on the first of April wasn't an April fool in case you were wondering. I'm pleased to report that the rash abated as soon as I stopped the Vitamin C and it's continued to fade and is almost gone.

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