Speaking from experience, I’m here with retirement advice.
I know you might think that you will have tons of time now that the kids are grown and the job is over. You think you’ll have time to read or garden or visit the grandkids or even travel again eventually.
But that isn’t going to happen. Listen to me. You are going to spend your retirement years trying to remember passwords or changing passwords because you can’t remember them.
Back in the earlier days of passwords, you used the same password and taped it up on the wall where everyone from the pest control man to the carpet installer could see it. Fast forward a few years and everything needed a password — even the door to get into your house so you can change your other bazillion passwords.
At first I, and probably you, had the same password for the few devices that required them. It was easy to remember like the name of your first boyfriend, for instance, “Derek.”
Then you get a child or child-in-law who gets into IT, a profession that didn’t even exist when you bought your first, very heavy computer that is even now someplace in your cluttered garage. You don’t get rid of it because that IT child has scared you to death about someone getting it and hacking your hard drive and draining the retirement savings they want to inherit.
So you begin to change your passwords. “Derek” is now “Derek60,” which is of course your birth year. Then one of your grown kids shows you how easy he or she can sign into your account because you haven’t changed your password for YEARS and every fool knows you don’t use your birth year in a password. You are told to mix numbers for letters and add a punctuation symbol.
“Derek60” becomes “D3r303!,” using the year you got your cat and an exclamation point because you are a little angry about passwords. By this time in your life, you have 10 different devices, 20 different accounts and 423 passwords you can’t remember.
Then you sign up for a password helper, which loves you so much, it will remember every password for you. Of course, it has the Master Password, which you must never forget, for it is irretrievable. You are right back to writing the only password you will ever need but always forget on a sticky note on the wall over your sleek laptop.
It is at this point you have reached retirement age and start changing passwords because your password helper doesn’t like any of the ones you have:
“We see you have used a similar password 612 times. We encourage you to choose a unique password.”
And since you have a Kindle, a laptop, a smart watch, a phone and a bazillion apps, wherever you go, you spend your time resetting passwords to hack into your own accounts. And “Derek60” has become “D3r3k2017!#lik8dp1zza@.”
Then, and this is the climax of this “journey,” you get an email from someone unidentifiable except that he or she doesn’t know beans about punctuation…