Hit by a Pitch

WTF Wednesday: I hate changing my work password.

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Every once in a while, the password I use to log into my work email and the network connection at the office expires. I always know when this is going to happen because the computer will tell me: “Your password will expire in 10 days. Would you like to change it now?” No, I would not like to change it now. Thanks for asking.

I don’t want to change it now because changing it now would require me to come up with another password, which is nearly impossible thanks to the ridiculous password-changing rules. It’s not just that you have to change your password all the time. You have to change it to something exceptionally, well, passwordy, which  means hard to guess and hard for you to remember, and it can’t be anything you’ve used in the last 27 years of having a password. That means even if you have a child and 900 animals, at some point, you’ll have cycled through versions of all of their names, even weird combinations no hacker would ever be able to guess because you’re not dumb enough to make your password, like, Soren or Peep or some shit.

When it comes to making a new password, I never have any good ideas. So each day, I decline to change my password and each day, I have one fewer day during which to come up with a new password. By the time I get to 3 days, I know I should change my password but I still don’t have any ideas. Then I get sick, miss work for a few days, get locked out of my accounts, and have to ask one of the overworked IT peeps to reset the password for my dumb ass yet again.

Today, I triumphantly returned to the office after my recent infirmity and figured I should change the IT-bestowed password forthwith. Every attempt failed. Here’s the actual error message:

The password supplied does not meet the minimum complexity requirements. Please select another password that meets all of the following criteria: is at least 8 characters; has not been used in the previous 12 passwords; must not have been changed within the last 2 days; does not contain your account or full name; contains at least 3 of the following 4 character groups: English uppercase characters (A through Z); English lowercase characters (a through z); Numerals [sic] (0-9); Non-alphabetic [sic] characters (such as !, $, #, %). Type a new password which [sic] meets these requirements in both text boxes.

My next attempt:

B1TEme!$#%

The response:

The password supplied does not meet the minimum complexity requirements. Please select another password that meets all of the following criteria: is at least 8 characters; has not been used in the previous 12 passwords; must not have been changed within the last 2 days; does not contain your account or full name; contains at least 3 of the following 4 character groups: English uppercase characters (A through Z); English lowercase characters (a through z); Numerals [sic] (0-9); Non-alphabetic [sic] characters (such as !, $, #, %). Type a new password which [sic] meets these requirements in both text boxes.

Then I’m disappointed with myself for having gotten to the point where I attempted to use some form of “bite me” twice within the previous 12 passwords. But then I remembered that the IT peeps changed my password within the last 2 days. So I waited until later in the day and tried again. This time my password took. And I have no idea what it was. Some crazy shit with letters and numbers and probably %%&?

Written by Tracy

April 18th, 2012 at 9:24 pm