Did I hear that correctly!? The perky young tech reporter on NPR just announced the astounding news that we will soon be able to log onto our accounts with fingerprint recognition technology. Passwords will be a thing of the past, quaint relics like the butter churn and the dial telephone. I can barely contain my joy.
Passwords are a bane of my existence, a thorn in my side, a bee in my bonnet, a bug in my britches. Just yesterday, in fact, I tried logging onto my email account with the same password I’ve used just for that and shared with nobody on the planet. “No,” it said in effect, “We think someone is close to fiddling around in your account and you need a new password.” (It was probably the same message that made Angela Merkel so mad.) Okay, it no longer likes “sassy.” It also didn’t like my mother’s maiden name, my hometown, my pet’s name or my social security number. Nothing, apparently, that I might remember tomorrow.
My old PC desktop died a couple of months ago and by some miracle the guys at Simutek managed to retrieve most of my old files, including the one where I keep a list of my passwords (cleverly disguised with the title, “Passwords”). But when I tried to log onto them with my new laptop computer, it balked. “We don’t recognize this computer” it said. “Pick a new password just in case.”
“No, not that one. Not that one either.” I tried to use “invalid” as a new password, since I am constantly reminded that “This password is invalid.” I tried “incorrect.” Ditto. In desperation I tried, “*&^%$#!” Not surprising, they said it was already taken.
Where is Edward Snowden when I need him? Julian Assange? The eight-year-old down the street? These guys can break into the deepest secret files of the U.S. government and I can’t break into my own email.
It must be an evolutionary thing. Somehow newborns today seem equipped with a new gene that allows them to set up their own Facebook accounts before they are on solid food.
I have not given up. When I get in real trouble, I take my new laptop to Simutek, the store that sold to it me, and get help. I can feel their eyes rolling as I pull into the parking lot. I imagine that the staff of peach-fuzzed geekies has gathered in the back room to draw straws* to determine who is up to talk to the next little old lady who has bought herself a high-tech laptop she doesn’t know how to turn on. I usually get a sweet, patient youngster who is no doubt breathing into a paper bag behind the counter when I leave. Bless his heart.
Anyway, I anticipate the happy day when my computer will recognize me from my fingerprints and the password phase of my life is over. Hallelujah! Amen!
*Silly me. How would they know about “drawing straws” to decide who gets the rotten task at hand?
Coming of Age by Rosemary Rawson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.