Password Problems

man person smartphone desk

A reader has run up against a password problem.

“I have retired for a number of years so my need for extra password security is minimal beyond banking websites. However, I find it difficult to use even the simplest passwords without automatic logins. I can’t imagine attempting to type a 20 character password every time I wanted to open a system or access a website, let alone 64 characters.

I recently had an issue with paying one of my credit cards. With a change in the bank’s security system, I could no longer save the login and password and they limit the number of attempts to access the site to no more than five, I think it is three tries. Failure locks the system. The solution is to call customer service to have the account unlocked.

The last time this happened, I was walked through the process of clearing my cache, which included every login ID and password. I did get access to this account but I am still trying to access accounts that I don’t use on a regular basis.

With a banking app, I understand the issue. However, to prevent me from accessing an organizational app because the banking app needs special treatment is unacceptable.”

The person who walked you through the process of clearing the cache made an error. It’s possible to clear the cache without removing passwords that you have saved in your browser’s password manager. You just have to make sure to not to check the box that clears the autocompletion in the search box. Most browsers allow you to save passwords for certain sites. You could save the passwords for your other sites and not for the bank.

Truthfully, a 20 character password can be easy to remember. It can be as simple as a sentence. Something random like myauntsuzymakesthebestdangpickles. It’s the length that annoys the hacking software.

Your dilemma is why many people now favor biometric passwords, either facial recognition or a fingerprint relives you from the need to remember things. Also, if you have a smartphone, an authenticator app can also be an easier way. You just need to approve the sign-in request.

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