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How many passwords does it take to change a lightbulb these days?

The subject of this week’s rant is passwords. Apparently, the average person has more than 100 passwords for their accounts.

The average person would not be someone who runs their own business, much of it online, and holds account details for clients as well as themselves. My password count is nearer double that, and the received wisdom about passwords is, I think, ridiculous.

My love hate relationship with technology is no secret, and passwords are one of my worst bugbears. You’re supposed to have a different password for every account and never write them down anywhere – unfortunately I’m forced to break both those rules.

I understand security is an important issue, but I’m sick to death of trying to remember passwords for every single website – especially when all I’m trying to do is read a news story or watch a video.
I know I’m not the only one who experiences this, either: when I have to learn something new, it sometimes feels like my poor frazzled brain has to let go of something else. And often, unfortunately, that is a password.

I remember about ten years ago now trying to withdraw cash from a cash machine – and my bank card PIN was gone. Just gone. And it has never, ever come back.

Quite honestly, I don’t want to have to remember this stuff. I want to remember human things, like the date of my friend’s job interview, or my client’s family reunion.

I know there are solutions out there. There is the ‘memorable passphrase’ solution, which you base on a phrase from a proverb or song. But you are scuppered when one particular website insists your password isn’t long enough, or its too long, and you’re pretty much back to where you started.

A friend recently recommended sites like LastPass and eWallet, which I somehow hadn't heard of before now. LastPass is so called because it’s the last password you’ll ever need to remember – it stores the rest of your web paswords in a ‘vault’ online for you, and autofills in your online logins.

However, this ‘last password’ really is your key to all of them, so it must be hard to crack, and completely different to every other password you’ve ever used. Also, if you forget it, it's pretty difficult to get it back. Consequently, my friend, the recent convert to LastPass, has her ‘last password’ written down on a post-it note which lives next to her computer…

What are your password nightmares and solutions? Leave a comment in the box below.