True IT blooper #64: Pain in the password

Matthew A. DeBellis
While still funny, password bloopers are more like daggers. They hurt IT pros more than the average misstep.

After all, one of the most important duties of IT pros is to secure the networks of their organizations. It's a serious responsibility, and IT pros must walk a fine line: they must secure networks without angering end users with over-the-top security measures. Users must buy in to the password system -- or else it fails.

IT pro Charles Rummings recently set up a new password scheme at his organization, a university. He felt the scheme was a good one. It was secure yet simple enough to not upset users. So he thought.

At the end of one Friday, Rummings strolled through the enrollment services department. He noticed a user, clearly ready to leave for the weekend, typing something into her PC. Then she grabbed her coat and made for the door.

Rummings asked what she had typed. The user, irked, snapped at him.

"The lady informed me that because I had yelled at her for writing her password on a Post-it and leaving it on her PC, she was going to type her username and password in the logon boxes," Rummings said. "That way she would just have to hit 'Enter' in the morning and not have to remember the info so early in the morning.

"I give up!" Rummings said.

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