Becky Says...

2000-08-09

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Passwords

For various and sundry reasons, I have a lot of accounts of one sort or another that are password-protected. And about six of those have been added in the last month. I told a friend the other day that I was now writing passwords on my walls.

The one thing that drives me nuts about passwords is the asterisks. I really do understand the need for security. But I wish there were some way to turn off the stars in the privacy of my own home---maybe even on a time-by-time basis. It would be nice if I could see what I had typed, to make sure I hadn't made an error, before hitting submit and finding out the hard way.

Before you remind me of password-saving features: these are on accounts that don't offer such.

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The security issue brings up something that amused me. The moderator of a mailing list I'm on gave the URL one day of a page within the American Bar Association's website, so that interested list members could go to the page and download a pamphlet on Internet security issues. I didn't have time that afternoon, so I wrote myself a note to get it later.

When later came, I didn't take the time to find the original e-mail, but went to the Bar Association's index page, intending to go in through that route. Nice idea, but the page was done in JavaScript, which I tend to keep disabled. And when out of curiousity I looked at their source code, I saw they wanted me to accept a cookie! I decided I probably had enough information about Internet security.

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The things I do that require entering a password or identification number into a system by using a telephone's keys are usually the ones I worry about accidentally revealing. Some are downright tuneful. I'm afraid someday I'll go out humming and give half the town access to my accounts.

And that would mean having to change the passwords. That would be so horrible I don't want to think about it.

Text copyright 2000 Becky