Even geeks forget their passwords

Passwords are definitely fickle beasts.  I’m used to juggling a multitude of different semi-incomprehensible passwords containing a mixture of numbers, symbols, upper and lower-case letters, and in some cases unicode characters (letters such as ü, • and §). And for some mysterious reason I’m able to remember these gibberish-filled passwords with ease. But despite all this, when asked to input a 4-digit passcode into my iPhone to be able to lock my phone (a requirement for hooking it up to my company Exchange server), I couldn’t keep that simple password in my head for longer than 8 minutes.

Can you believe that? Numeric passwords are perhaps the easiest passwords to crack. There isn’t enough variance in the values each character can hold to guarantee uniqueness or complexity to be considered secure, yet for some reason bank ATMs and cellphones use them with impunity. Perhaps my problem is I’m so used to being security-minded, that something as simple as 1234 didn’t occur to me.

So now I’m waiting for my iPhone to restore so I can recover my device (luckily I’d backed up just prior to adding my Exchange email account).  But once I finish with this, I’ll have to do the same thing for my iPad with its 12 gigs of WWDC videos; I’m not looking forward to that.

Update: After wiping and restoring my phone from backups I was able to get at the phone without a lock code. Success! Once I checked my Exchange email again, it required me to specify a new pin code. I made sure to type something in that was really easy to remember. Something with a couple 1’s and a 5 or something. I’m not quite sure because after going upstairs for dinner, I came back downstairs and discovered I could no longer remember my new password. I’m restoring from backups yet again, and hopefully this time I can come up with a password I can remember longer than a goldfish can remember a password.

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