There are many things that frustrate me about technology, computers, smartphones etc but lately passwords have been annoying me the most.
The amount of passwords I need to remember increases every month as I create new job applications, sign up for email updates or register with new websites. Of course, it is recommended (and common sense) to use different passwords and I have a handful of frequently used passwords that I interchange as I’m sure we all do. Google remembers 90 of my passwords so I don’t have to, but there are many websites I frequently use that Google doesn’t know my password for.
I have an app on my phone, Wechat, it’s like a Chinese version of Whatsapp, except much better with games like sending a message in a bottle and super cool animated stickers. These stickers are often topical, there were collections for the World Cup and some are completely random, like the one below.
For some reason, the app signed me out of my account and to sign back in, I needed to enter my password. I tried several passwords, but couldn’t get the right one. This was about a week ago and ever since I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember what password I would have used when I was in China.
As the account is only linked to my Chinese mobile number (which has now been disconnected as I haven’t used it in several months), there is no way to electronically retrieve my password. It’s frustrating as Wechat is my main point of contact with my Chinese friends as they don’t use Facebook or Whatsapp. I feel incredibly upset that I won’t be able to send them new year greetings this week.
Another annoying thing about passwords is the strength indicator. Some websites require that your password is at least ‘medium’ strength and you have to add a capital letter, more numbers or a special character. Which is all fair and well, but then when I return to log into these websites, I don’t remember if my password started with a lower case or capital letter.
The simple answer would probably be to change all my commonly used passwords to ‘medium strength’ ones, but that’s just extra effort, isn’t it? We all know the most common passwords are still 123456 and password. Surely my password with letters and numbers combined is already pretty strong as it’s not one of the ones mentioned in the article above.
For the time being, I’ll keep trying different passwords for my Wechat account whilst I’m waiting for a reply from the support team to see if there is any other way to retrieve the password for my account.