It has struck over the last few days that I have accumulated a growing number of computer passwords, a trend that shows no sign of abating. If anyone thought we in Africa are of the ‘grid’, they had better think again because more and more of what we do is via one network or internet or intranet. Each stage controlled by password.
My predicament becomes more acute at the end of every month because my office network ‘insists’ that I change my password every 4 weeks. This is non negotiable, the computer does not talk to you as such, it just shuts you out. And it won’t let you back on the grid until you key in a new password and reconfirm the new secret code. No big deal one might think until you are told that your password must include at least 6 letters, some upper case, at least two number and a symbol like # or @. furthermore one cannot repeat the same password or something similar for at least 6 months! ( can you hear me swearing?).
Well just for my office network I have worked my way through the towns of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, south Africa, number plates, birthdays and now I am onto rivers of the world. However, it is not unusual for me to completely forget my new password and then have to call the chaps in IT to rescue me………I can almost hear them sniggering and suppressing laughter and derision.
Now why would I struggle with something as mundane as a computer password, one might ask? The answer is because I have to have so many just to keep my life ticking along nicely:
1. email address passwords X 3
2. ATM passwords X 2
3. credit card password X1
4. Internet banking password
5. M-Pesa password
6. Apple iTunes store password
7. Website passwords x4
8. Social media passwords x4
9. Laptop password X2
Overwhelming? Absolutely! And there is no hope in sight.