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April 15, 2021 By Liz Wildberger

Forgotten Your Password

Among my many New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 is I will remember my password by recording it in a notebook. I have even purchased a spiral bound notebook that I will keep in a secret place (if I can remember where the secret place is) for the passwords and for all of the seldom-used passwords that gain me entry into such locations as Wi-Fi, routers, scanners and other esoteric products that I seldom have the opportunity to use, much less understand how they interact with my computer.

User names are no problems; I simply use my email address, though my sons tell me that that is the surest method for hackers and other unsavory persons to break into my personal affairs.

No, I will be able to recall any password I have invented for Lands’ End, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and L.L. Bean, to name just a few of the places I do business with, thanks to my trusty notebook. No longer will I have to revert to the lowly “guest information” to secure my sweat pants and personals; I have devised a foolproof plan at last.

Gone will be the cynical, quasi-sympathetic voices I am able to summon on the “Help” menu. The airlines I used to frequent have a special person who has one mission in life — to belittle clients who do not remember their reservation number — by saying in a scathing tone: What! You didn’t write it down? when assured that it will automatically come up on the screen when I supply a password, which I never recall.

I recently stumbled onto a phrase that counseled: Reset your password. I know now not to pursue that line of thought. Oh, easy for young graduates with computer science written after their names! For the rest of us aging technocrats, it is a path to ruination. The simple technique of choosing another password has been obfuscated by queries about your mother’s place of birth, or your husband’s favorite color, or the place you went to high school. If I could remember those answers, I would be able to reset my password easily, or so the robot tells me.

When I am shopping for the 60 percent off items in the L.L. Bean catalog, I will simply refer to my know-it-all notebook when the computer nudges me to produce a password.

(Now if I only remembered what I did with the notebook . . .)

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