I was walking the other day from the train station and I had a particular sequence of numbers running through my head. They were just kind of hanging there on the edge of my consciousness, but nagging at me nonetheless. And as I thought about them I realised I didn’t know what they were for: My internet banking log-on number? My passport number? The keypad security code to get access at the place where I’ve been working? Maybe it was my ATM PIN? It really bugged me for a while until I realised it was my own phone number.
Passwords and usernames and number codes seem to dominate 21st-century life in a way that is unique to these times. And some passwords only last for 30 or 60 days and then you have to create a new one – one that has a number, a symbol character, an upper-case letter and that doesn’t repeat any of the characters you used in your last password. Maddening!