Frabjous Times

Password census

Dan Thanh Dang of The Baltimore Sun has written an article about the proliferation of passwords with this quote:
"Without my little crib sheet, I can't remember all that stuff," said [Dave] Murphy, of Ellicott City, who counts 279 different codes for the voice mail, computer and security systems, e-mail and Web sites in his life. "Who can memorize all that?"
In the digital age, people are on the verge of "password rage," frustrated with the abundance of codes they are required to memorize to secure their various networked devices. And the pressure to update the numerical and alphabetical soup keeps growing as threats of intrusions, cyberterrorism and identity theft increase.
I wrote on this topic previously here. I took a tally of the passwords and passphrases in my Treo stored using PDA Keyring and came up with this list
  • Bank: 14
  • Computers: 24
  • Product keys: 6
  • Phone: 6
  • PIN: 8
  • Web: 131
  • Unfiled (on deck): 4
  • Total: 193
Any guess I could come up with for how long it will take for biometrics to replace all the passwords we need is apt to be wildly wrong, since it depends on so many things. I'm not ready to give up yet and resort to just One Password to Rule Them All though.
Originally published: 07-09-2003 21:43:45