Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What's the Password?

I will freely confess that I can be quite forgetful, I don't think I always have been (although I could have forgotten!) but I certainly am now, maybe it's an age thing.  
Anyway, I regularly find myself having to repeat trips back to the cellar to get something I already went down for and then forgot, buying lots of miscellaneous things from the supermarket yet going home without the one item I went for and of course there's the ongoing issue of not remembering the word I want to say (understandable when talking in German as I mightn't have learnt that word yet, but sometimes even the word in English proves elusive).

To such a forgetful mind the modern day need for passwords and PINs is hellish.   But I think I've just about got a handle on it, although whether I can remember my UK card PINs on the girlie weekend to London at the end of November remains to be seen.

The new twist on this modern day problem comes in the form of Jas, who at 11 is as technologically capable as me (i.e. she can use it but the technology isn't happy about it) then factor in the scatty attitude of a 'tween'* and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

The girls all seem to have the same accessories, mobile phone and ipod, all with lots of games and apps on them, if one finds a new game you can guarantee that shortly after they will all have it, they sit together, swapping gadgets, playing each others games, making videos of each other and generally larking about.

I have never put a password/code on my phone or ipad, partly though fear of forgetting it but also because I don't need to, if either is stolen then I know that there are ways of hacking the phone/pad that render the code useless and also because my children are old enough to leave my stuff alone**. Jas however started putting passcodes on her stuff this summer, it s probably a trend amongst her friends. She started out with the simple 4 digit passcode
system that came with the phone, then progressed to a pattern of dots within a grid and then to a word and then back to a number.  Truly a disaster waiting to happen.

Saturday evening Jas stayed at friends, 6pm I had a call from a phone number I didn't recognise, it was Jas on her friend's phone, she'd managed to lock herself out of her phone.  You only get so many attempts before the system gives you a time out, the more you wrongly try the longer the timeout, I have a friend whose small son managed to lock out an iphone for years. 

Jas was quite upset because she'd also managed to lock herself out of her ipod...quite what help I was supposed to be I don't know seeing as I wasn't actually there and as far as I knew her last password (at noon that day) had been "JAZZ" and yet now it was apparently a number.   I calmed her down as best I could, seeming to leave her more cross than upset (how dare I, her all knowing mother, not know what four digit number she had input into her phone) and promised to sort it out on Sunday when she was home.

An hour or so later my phone binged with a message, from Jas, or to be more precise, from Jas's phone, they'd managed to remember the code, or rather Jas's friend had remembered the code (which begs the question, what's the point of having a code if all your friends know it?)  The ipod was a different matter though, clearly a different code!

A quick search in the app store on my iphone shows 135 apps available for passcodes, I do hope Jas doesn't download anymore, I do hope she's learnt her lesson...knowing my luck she'll forget all about the evening!

* tween is an actual word (trust me, you can Google it) describing the age between childhood and adolescence, 10-12 years old.
** I have a friend who has three children, all younger than mine and she does have passcodes on phone and pad, however she has to change them regularly because the sneaky kids have a strategy for finding out the codes - they each spot a number, none of them has to discover the whole code, just the part of it that they are responsible for, 007s in training.

1 comment:

~Karen said...

So Funny!I forgot the pin to my bank card in the US and managed thereby to lock myself out of all my accounts! After a long phone call during which I had to provide hoards of personal info proving who I am, they are finally snail-mailing me a new one :) Thank God for PasswordSafe or I'd never get into any computer accounts!