Passwords: A Pain in the #%&!


            I’ve had it with passwords.   Seriously, I’m in password Hell right now.  Who came up with the idea of logins, usernames and stupid passwords, anyway?  I’d really like to slug that person.  Sorry, I’m a little twitchy because I promised my editor I’d pound out a 25k word novella this month without giving any thought to what I was actually going to write.  Yep, look up panster in the dictionary and my picture will be right there.

            Anyway, back to passwords.  It used to be, all you needed to know was simple 4-digit code to access your voice mail at work or at home.  I could never even keep those two straight and was forever deleting important work messages.  Nowadays, you need a password just to operate your phone.  Every transaction you make on the Internet requires you to set up a user name and password—even if it’s just a temporary one.  I totally get that these are necessary to keep my information secure, but, really, I’ve got so many floating around out there, any identity thief who hacks in will think I’m a certified schizophrenic.  Even worse are the security prompts a site gives you when you forget your password.  I swear one of them asked me the name of the first boy I kissed.passwords

            My brother, mister super-duper government security expert, told me once to never use the same password twice.  Like an idiot, I followed his advice and now have a plethora of passwords and I can’t remember which one goes with which account!  (Not that it matters to my computer geek little brother.  He can access my computer WITHOUT leaving his sofa in suburban DC.  So much for the diary with the lock and key.)

            “Keep a list on your phone,” he tells me.  And if I forget the password to unlock my phone?  The new iPhone has a component that reads your thumbprint to unlock it.  Cool.  Unless you live life like an episode of I Love Lucy like yours truly.  As soon as I programmed that bad boy to open only with my thumb print, I’d likely shear the tip off in a Sunday morning bagel slicing accident or burn the skin beyond recognition roasting a marshmallow. 

            No, I’m waiting for the retina display model phone and computer.  Scientists and grad students at Purdue University are working on this as I type.  They say they are only a couple of years away from rollout.  I say: hurry up!  In the meantime I’m still stuck in Password Hell trying to remember what my password is for Goodreads.  I initially set it up through Facebook, but now the folks at Facebook changed my account around (don’t ask) and I can’t get into Goodreads.  Never mind Twitter.  I have NO idea what my password is there or how to go about finding it. 

            I guess I have no choice but to stay off social media and write this dang novella.  Hmmm.  I’m sensing a conspiracy here.

            Is anyone else frustrated with passwords?  Do you have a system for keeping them organized?  Particularly one that wouldn’t stump Lucy?  Please share!

About Tracy Solheim

Best-selling author of the Out of Bounds series--sexy, contemporary sports romance novels. See what she's up to at

Posted on October 4, 2013, in Blog Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Yes, I hate passwords. I hate it even more when I get cute about them and then can’t remember the logic I used to come up with them. One thing I do for those which need letters and numbers is use license plates of former cars…with a letter in front (e.g. N for Nissan and the license plate characters)…now, if only I can remember which car goes with which password, lol.

  2. My husband and I go round and round about passwords. He has them all on a master device and I can never gain access to the master! With the NSA scandal, I wonder why we even bother with passwords in the first place.

    • My master device is a little password notebook, but my husband makes me write them in code so if anyone stole the book, they still couldn’t hack in. Unfortunately, I can’t always remember my cryptic code! LOL 🙂

  3. My strategy is use the same one for everything.

    But it’s a “strong” password. So I feel a little better.

    Write them down on a piece of paper. Identity thieves in the Balkan Islands aren’t likely to search your desk for them. But they will search your computer.

    Other tips are make them the first letters of your favorite sentance: “It was a dark and stormy night,” becomes: “Iwadasn75” or something.

    • One of the passwords I use always comes up strong, but someone keeps hacking into my Facebook account and I keep having to change it. I like the first sentence idea, though. I could use a song…

  4. I do the same for everything too, or at least a version of the same with three options, so I know it’s going to be one of them. Your brother would probably have a twitch with that. LOL. Someone could easily hack me, I guess, but I take that gamble because I would never remember different ones. 🙂

    • That’s sort of the way I do it. I have one for anything to do with my kids and one for business and one for personal, but I try to modify from those three for each site. I now know why I never became an engineer. 🙂

  5. I actually have a slip of paper next to my writing area that has all my various passwords. Ridiculous, I know, but I keep having to change the passwords all the time because I can’t remember them all. I’m waiting for the retina recognition capability as well.

  6. I have a rolodex in my desk drawer with all of my passwords. Until I started to record them there, I was as lost as you are, Tracy. Of course, when I leave home, I don’t take it with me…and I’m screwed if I want to get into anything. LOL!

  7. My personal favorite is the message that says “Your user name and password don’t match.” So which one is wrong? My user name or my password?

  8. I keep a list of all my passwords handy but its still a pain! I read recently that you really only need a super secure password, ones that differ from others, for your most important accounts that would be critically damaging if hacked. Think bank accounts, credit cards accounts, etc. For other accounts like social media or your website use the same password for all. I don’t recommend keeping a list of passwords on any electronic device. I do suggest keeping copies of your list in couple safe places though.

  9. Oh I so get this! I had such a hard time managing all my passwords BUT found a fantastic app on the App Store called PasswordBox. Manages all my online account info and syncs automatically to my computer. Much safer than keeping a list of logins on my phone and I always have the info I need. Hope this helps! 🙂

  10. Hilarious! And so true. As if I didn’t have enough of my own personal usernames/passwords to keep up with, there are just as many required at my day job. :sigh:

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