Paul Roub

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Sunday Morning Password Audit

We all know about the value of strong passwords, and the essential extra value of never reusing passwords, right?

Right. Of course we do.

And we all follow that wisdom, always, without fail, right?

Right?

I mean, except for that throwaway password. You know the one. The same one you’ve been using for random I’ll-probably-never-be-here-again sites (and apps) for years and years. The one you never use for important things. I mean, who cares if anyone cracks that one? That’s why it’s OK that it’s short, and crackable, and re-used so often.

For “fun” this morning, I opened up 1Password and created a Smart Folder like so:

1Password Main Menu - "New Smart Folder"

1Password Search - Items where password is like the throwaway

That blurry part there, is of course, my throwaway password of choice. That count is, indeed, 104 logins. 104 logins that were somehow trivial enough for a junk password, yet worthy of a “Save” click when I created them.

But hey, none of those are important sites, right? Nothing with financial implications or anything.

Oh, just:

I had planned to spend the rest of the morning doing my taxes; that sounds like more fun than what I ended up doing.

Changing 104 passwords takes a while, but at least I’m not doing it in a blind panic after one of those many sites had their database compromised.

Take a minute today to search your favorite password tool. You may be embarrassed by what you turn up, but console yourself this way: “At least I didn’t tell the whole internet about it like Paul did.”

You’re welcome.