Memory-Lane Monday: The cruelest password

Maybe she should check her dictionary again.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

After a network manager unexpectedly tightens up the rules for passwords and forces the expiration of all user passwords on the main application system, calls flood into the help desk, reports a pilot fish on the scene. They’re having trouble because of the new complexity rules.

One of the calls:

User: I can’t seem to change my password.

Help desk tech: Your new password needs to contain letters, numbers and punctuation. Do not use any words such as you’d find in a dictionary.

User: OK. (Pause.) No, it still won’t let me change it.

Tech: What is the password you are trying to use?

User: April.

Tech: “April” is a word.

User: No, it’s not; it's a month!

Sharky thinks February is a great month to send me your true tales of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. March works too. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter.

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