Sunday, August 19, 2007

What's in a name?

What's in a name? Or, for that matter, a password? Well, it can mean getting access to your computer, your bank account, your e-mail or even your own blog. I have more usernames and passwords than I can remember and the older I get, the less I can remember them. If a tool does not require you to have one, then your IT Department certainly will.

Today, increasing security risks mean that you are likely to have to submit to a more complicated sign-in process to gain access to your work computer and your employer's networks. A university network is highly desirable and many are taking steps to better protect them. I do not blame them; it is frustrating and scary when you discover that someone has "invaded" you.

Now I have to admit, I do not always follow suggestions not to use familiar words and numbers to create a password. And yes, I do use the same password more than once and even write them down sometimes. If I didn't, I would constantly be hitting the forgot password link on every system I was trying to access, like this one, since I couldn't remember what I used for a password to post to the blog!

It is unfortunate that there are people who wish to do nothing more than to create electronic havoc wherever they can and as often as they can. As an administrator, I understand the necessary evils of having to log into my various accounts and networks to protect the information they contain. As a librarian, I wish that we could all freely access information without worrying about someone doing unethical things with it. Technology has given libraries incredible ways to share knowledge and librarians are eager to use as many as possible, if only it can be made easier to do so.

But even if it is tedious to always have to "log-in," there is a bright spot to it all-- my vocabulary skills get a rigorous workout as I try to create that perfect username and password combo that I will least likely to forget.

1 comment:

Diane Schrecker said...

I had to laugh when reading this post. Today was my first day back from vacation and I spent a great deal of time logging into my computer, my email, WebCT, WebAdvisor, Bloglines, and, of course, Blogger.

Naturally, with the exception of two of them, each had it's own individual login and username.