Yes!!! And so has everyone else as the number of sites keeps growing along with the number of people using them as the number of “takens,” and “unavailables” keeps popping up along with the new and insulting “weak.”
What does that mean? And who gets to decide?
For 65 web-less years, I had managed to get by with just one password: “Ace Of Aces,” as a member of the Tracey Avenue Tigers, a secret society with a hideout constructed of cardboard boxes and an old mattress in my cousin Jerry’s basement. It was forgotten until recently when I reached back to a simpler time to register on a new website and was shocked to see “Ace of Aces” was taken; obviously Jerry had succumbed to torture and given it up.
I tried aceofaces1, also taken, and finally was accepted with aceofaces9. It was only a momentary victory because I realized that, along with countless others, it would be forgotten and I’d have go to Forgot Your Password Hell and try to remember the hint: my pet’s name, my favorite food, mother’s birthday, maiden name, or countless others I have accumulated to the point that I have no idea what hint goes with which password.
In the beginning, it was simple: I was “sillybilly,” which worked through five sites. On the sixth, it was taken. I immediately went to “sillybilly1.” Finally, at sillybilly4, it was accepted.
Then there was a period of “cute” ones: “bigbucks” for my bank, “clicker” for my cable service, and a few others I can’t begin to remember. I sailed along up to “sillybilly10” when I was confronted with a numbers-only site. I started with the year I was born…taken. I shouldn’t have been shocked given that 1,989,364 people were born in 1931. (That from a Census Bureau site, no password required.) I added the month… taken. Day, age, address…taken. Finally, my license plate: my accepted password was 193,109,091,303,683.
I never even tried to revisit the site.
I’m sure there is a website to find the average number of passwords needed to function in today’s cyber world, but I would need a password to get in, and, with 35, I’m already fighting for my web life. To help, I compiled a password-protected list of the date I made the list, but then I saw the movie Swordfish where John Travolta was a computer wiz who could break anyone’s passwords since everyone uses birthdays, pets and children’s names, so I created one that was so random that no one could figure out…which, of course, includes me.
Things are only going to get worse unless someone comes up with a solution and I think I have it. At birth, in addition to a name, every child should be given a password. It’s on a tape recorded by Bob Johnson, the voice on the tapes in the TV series Mission: Impossible. To get it, parents have to climb a mountain and memorize it before the tape self-destructs, leaving the parents as the sole possessor of the information. When the child is 13, an appropriate age to be using the Internet responsibly, the parents whisper the password into the child’s ear and immediately it is wiped from their memory. This is followed by dinner, dancing, and gifts. If the kid happens to be Jewish, to save money it can be added to the Bar Mitzvah ceremony.