What's your password


I do not suppose there has ever been a larger jump in technology than there has been in the last decade. And some would say it really all took a light year leap forward in about 1947 with the crash of the UFO at Roswell, New Mexico, where the U.S. Government supposedly reverse engineered alien technology found in the flying saucer recovered there. For it was then that the transistor was “invented” and suddenly we were in a new era that led to a communication unrivaled since Eve gave Adam the apple. And we all know how that turned out.

Ol’ Dutch was lucky enough to be gifted one of the early desktop computers and even though it took a multitude of floppy disks to run, suddenly a nice, neat letter without typos or erasure fluid marks all over it could be printed off on the perforated sided paper and mailed out on a printed envelope to boot. It was a pretty simple system back then as all you had to do was turn it on and begin, a far cry from today’s computers and phones we are all using on a minute-by-minute basis.

Just recently Ol’ Dutch was forced to buy a new laptop as the one I was using was wearing out from all the keystrokes I had made looking for items on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. I think that there is a limit built into them honestly, that only gives you so many key dings and then it wears out. The computer had been acting cranky and even though I did manage to spill some chicken soup on it, that only seemed to exacerbate the issues. Go figure. So off to the store we went to get a new one and after some haggling by none other than — yes you guessed it — Miss Trixie, Walmart came down to her price. I know, right?

Home, we go and Ol’ Dutch now was faced with the daunting task of trying to remember all the passwords that he has accumulated throughout his lifetime. Luckily, I have of late been writing them down although they say never to do that. But with banking, Facebook, Gmail, and a multitude of places needing passwords every few days, so it seems, the numbers are just too many to recall.

I used to have just one password and that was pretty easy, and Miss Trixie had that too so that she could fix all my problems on the electronics for me daily. But with scammers and hackers running around out there like hamsters on a treadmill, the websites now require you not only change it but come up with more and more complex series of numbers, letters and characters to protect yourself from evil.

So smug in the knowledge that I had all those different combos in my book, I sat down and was able to at least log in to all my accounts, Until this morning. For now, not only do you need a password but there is a two-step verification process whereby the website sends a code to your phone. All well and good you say as Ol’ Dutch has just such a phone in his hand and that system was working like a duck swimming upstream on a sunny day until — drumroll — my phone crashed.

These types of things always bring about what can be called a slew of curses and harangues out of Ol’ Dutch’s fireside chair and what happens next is the tech support shows up at my side ready to assist me. Yep, Miss Trixie is an expert at that, too.

The poor little neighbor girl went and got her a new laptop just like Ol' Dutch but she is having to call in to India for her support. And while I do have to put up with the eye-rolling from Miss Trixie that goes along with the fixing of my stuff, I can’t hear her. Even if she complains loud enough for me to hear it, it's worth the price of the support plan I have with her, plus it saves me from talking to Raj in Pakistan or Roger in the Phillipines.

With all the hackers out there these days it's probably just going to get worse and worse as to the number of verifications a person will need to type in and writing them down will have to be the norm. You can always hide the book you use for that but then be sure and tell someone as you will forget where you put the book.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is Kevin@TroutRepublic.com. Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com.