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Conversations With The Tuesday Night Girls: Open Sesame!

As you probably recall, that phrase originated from the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.

Ali Baba repeats those words to open the mouth of a cave where forty thieves have hidden their treasure.  But today, the magical phrase won’t even open your online account with the library.

I was sitting on Janine’s front porch with six of the Tuesday Night Girls, and we were trying to place an order from a wedding registry for Mootsie’s daughter via my I-pad.  I’ve placed literally hundreds of online orders with this department store over the years, and thought I had my password memorized, but apparently I was wrong, as I kept getting red, flashing notices that my password was incorrect.  And, apparently, I tried this same password so many times that something downtown must have blown a fuse because I was then directed to create a new password.

I was instructed that, “It must be at least 10 characters long, have at least one upper case, one lower case letter, at least one symbol, and two numbers.

Former password hackers advise us to memorize these pass codes, and to never, ever, under any circumstances, write them down anywhere!  Oh my!  A Google search of password etiquette also instructs us to never, ever use the same password more than once, lest some hacker infiltrate your computer and gain access to all of your accounts, including those from your bank and, heaven forbid…your library! (That wasn’t “me” who reserved Fifty Shades of Grey!)  uh huh…

Scientific research has suggested that the most characters that one’s short term memory can recall in exact order is approximately 7.   Surely, there must be an “age” curve involved, which means that at 50-something, short term memory recall is probably at about a 5.

I remember when I was learning piano as a kid, I had to learn the notes of the treble clef. I was taught to use the mnemonic, “Every Good Boy Does Fine.” (EGBDF)  So, we girls were thinking that if we can come up with a meaningful phrase it will help us to memorize pass codes.  Here are a couple under consideration:

My first boyfriend had BO, so I ditched him at 17:  MfbhBOsIdh@17

How about an old jump-rope jingle?  “Three, six, nine, the Goose drank wine, and the Monkey chewed tobacco on the streetcar line:”  369tGdw&tMctotsl  (Probably too transparent for hackers.).

And if pass codes don’t prohibit you from proving you are you, it’s likely answers to some security questions will: “With whom did you attend your first prom?”  Well, that’s tricky, because I attended my (own) first prom with someone different from the first prom I ever attended…and the older I get, the fuzzier those names become!

Since it seems as if following custodial rules for passwords and answers to security questions are more successfully keeping out members than keeping out hackers, we girls decided that we’re going to do what the rest of the world probably does:  to heck with the rules!  Except for our bank codes, we’re going to write them down anyway…but then we’re going to hide them in a cave.

The Girls have Spoken…

See you next Tuesday!

Read more posts by Claire Butler, blogger for JenningsWire.