Is This You? - Pass the Word on Passwords

  • 2021-10-24, 09:09 PM
  • Trina Machacek

Keeping secrets is a time-honored tradition. One that I think I have held up nicely. It’s a funny thing, a secret. You have to admit that when someone tells you a secret there is often an undercurrent that might be asking, “Why are you telling me this important bit of information?” Is it that the secret is really something that needs to be addressed by the secret teller and they just don’t know what to do? Or is there something sinister, which is where my mind sometimes goes. Does the teller really want “it” kept under my hat or are there alternative motives. Does the teller want “it” known but just doesn’t know how to get it out there, into the world? Yes, secrets are mysterious and wonderfully accepted ways of communication. I keep secrets very well and I sleep happily at night knowing that my “tick-a-lock” lips are sealed for all those who entrust things to me. Oh, my stars, I bet there are more secrets that were poured into my ears over the years I have forgotten than I can imagine. So that’s my concern today. Forgetting. The biggest secrets of my electronic life are easily forgotten. Like passwords. Aarrgghh. 

I try to live by the thought that if I tell the truth I don’t need to have a perfect memory. You know to remember what I may have fudged the truth on. We should be able to always remember stuff if it’s the truth. But. Yes, a telltale “but.” When I create a password, I feel that I am creating something that is setting me up to fail. It’s a lie in a way. Like I am not telling the truth about what I am trying to keep a secret at this website. Some nook and cranny spot where what I do is secret. Come on. I am not important enough to have or need a secret pathway to look at the price of a comic book that I found in a box of stuff in the shed. Or do I? I mean it’s a really cool comic book. A 1950’s Donald Duck stuffed between an Archie and a Little Lotta. A password is created. And then, hopefully remembered for the next time. If I really think I may need that password, I of course write it down. So secure right? Again, Aarrgghh. 

When computers were an up-and-coming thing I was helping a friend set up some stuff on line. I really don’t remember exactly what we were doing but it involved a place where she needed a password. She picks up her purse and pulls out this notebook. Dog eared and very well used. It was her password bible. She must have had fifty pages of notes. Each page contained the information places she used to keep track of her life. The pages contained the name of the sites, the “address” and of course that all important secret password for her to get into her account and do her business. All very well organized and I was impressed. Only because I only had one password at the time. No, it wasn’t “password.” Haha. Arrgghh. 

This friend and I worked a few hours on her stuff. Confident she could handle it on her own she left. That evening I sat down at my computer, to probably play solitaire, and noticed she left her book of passwords. Really? Yes. There in my hand was her whole computer footprint. I called to tell her I had her most secret possession. Her husband answered the phone, yes, a land line. I told him what I had. He was kind but I am sure they had quite a conversation about that little black book. And probably not in a wink, wink, nod, nod little black book way. I decided that day to come up with some other way to keep my passwords safe. As comfortable, easy, and convenient as it seemed to me to do, no, I do not use the same password over and over and over again. And again, aarrgghh. 

I could tell you how I keep and remember my pittance of number of passwords but then I would, as they say, have to kill you. I do know this about passwords, and it goes back to the first part of this story about lies and truths and memory. My cyber self noticed that there is always a thingy that offers, “Forgot your password?” Resetting is for people just like me. I just have to remember my email key and the rest? Simple as aarrgghh. 


Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Her funny book “They Call Me Weener” is available on or email her at [email protected] to get a signed copy. 




Trina Machacek



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