Big problem, small brain

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



(2004), "Big problem, small brain", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 53 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Big problem, small brain

I counted the other day that I regularly use about nine passwords or personal identity numbers (PINs) – regularly meaning at least once per month. Now, my brain finds those nine quite hard to remember (and to differentiate) so there is a real temptation to change them all to be the same. (Admit it, how many of you have done just that.) This is, of course, bad. It means that if someone breaks or discovers one of your passwords, he/she has them all. The alternative is to store them in some password-protected part of my PDA – but again, the same result. One password reveals all. So, I compromise (well, I’m like that!) I have several minor variations on the same password – but remembering which goes with which service requires some mental agility because I have “a system”. Does it have to be this hard?

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