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How Secure Should Your Login Be?
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How Secure Should Your Login Be?

I need to ship a box from one country to another. There are many companies who can do this but it is expensive. Therefore I am shopping around.

The internet of course is brilliant for this. I can go to a site, enter the dimensions and weight and a company will give me a quote. But many have decided that I must register online first. I know why but at this rate I will have so many online registrations that I need a team of people to manage them. I don’t need or want any more online accounts! Of course I have a software tool to manage my accounts WebAccount, but even so, so much effort just to establish that the company is too expensive and you don’t want to have anything to do with them.

The password you choose can be an issue. Typically someone will use the same one so they can remember it. However, if you have the tools to use different ones then you should, just to keep the “bad guys” guessing. I do this and usually use passwords with a mixture of letters and numbers and at least six characters.

At this point we should remember I want a quote to ship a box. Not to login to my bank or medical records or social network. I am a member of the technology industry and a software and web developer and if one thing is going to drive me “bonkers” it is other members of the industry behaving like we are all from another planet.

One of the sites I visited asked for a password so I gave them “krob18s0a8”, randomly generated just for them. This was rejected because it was too short! To make matters worse they suggested I add more characters and include upper case characters too. I appreciate they have my interests at heart, but get a grip. Their web developer probably really is from another planet or someone is making decisions who has no idea of the real world.

Any site which you login to, must of course have a secure certificate and a suitable level of security. A password is essential and must be something which someone can not guess. Provided it is random and a few characters in length the permutations are huge and beyond a human cracking. If a website is worried that a ten character password can be “cracked” then you might want to avoid them. How would that be possible?

So if you are implementing a website which includes a login process please remember ordinary people must use the site. Security is important and must be done properly but make sure it is proportionate to what you are protecting. Otherwise you can ruin the experience of a visitor to your website. I could not be bothered to mess around completing the registration process and bought the service from elsewhere. So the investment in time and money by the site owner in developing the website, and marketing activities to get me to the site, were wasted for the sake of “2 digits” and silly rules.


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