Sophie McCook

BBC Scriptwriter & Author of New Book Thinkless

Bleeding Heart is a condition that normally effects liberals but in this case it’s an acquired illness that is being contracted (maybe) by the thing we thought was keeping the internet safe. It was accidentally uploaded by a code-monkey. All the other coders saw it and said ‘that looks tricky to unpick, I’ll let Ron/Jon/Don’ do it. It was a case of Monkey see Monkey don’t do. It’s like catching anthrax from the designers of the safety belt.

No one knows if anyone knew about it. Hackers and scam merchants spend a lot of time with skeleton keys and dynamite around the back entrances and service doors of web portals, and they probably don’t think of checking the front door that often.

Anyway, my main issue with this is trying to remember all my passwords. I am less worried about seat belt anthrax and more …er….thingie….about early onset dementia.

I have been and I’ve done it and every single password has had an encryption makeover.

So for old times sake, I’m going to scroll back in history, to a time when passwords made sense and people left the doors of their website unlocked.

@1999 Thisismypassword. I didn’t really get the idea. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in my short stories, and if they did, I dreamed of being hacked by Penguin Press.

@2000. M1n1mum: I was 26 and a mother of three. I wore the Hawkswood catalogue in an attempt to look 40. It worked.

@2003 TheThirdChair: Name of my first bought film script. Momentarily flavour of the month with Miramax who put it neatly on a shelf the way good housewives store fruit.

@2007 Heyst0psn00ping: This was a message to the youngest child who treated the acquisition of my password the same way Tom Cruise does diamonds and laser alarms.

@2009 NextInTheQueue I once stood in a queue so long, I actually changed all my passwords in boredom.

@2010 123qwerty This is officially the most hackable password in the universe.

@2011 1f0rg0tagain Now I had so many that felt I had spliced my brain with a bowl of bread dough.

@2014 1futhinkImLettinunouratwat. Good and long, and no one’s going to work it out.

My other security issues are: once miss-spelling my favourite Italian meal as a password which meant I had to badly spell it correctly for about three years.

And when asked ‘Name your favourite Teacher,’ subsequently grew to hate said teacher when he taught my son.

But it doesn’t matter how good our passwords are while the Anthrax Seatbelt engineers are in charge. The password might as well be: T8kme1murs

I’m sure this is the innocent early phase in the legitimate V illegitimate battle ground as bots fight for our browsing habits. Soon we’ll have to let computers scan our pupils with the new security app IPain or perhaps give blood samples. Once your lap top asks to check your teeth, you know you’re no longer in charge.

Meanwhile, a good password that includes eight characters and one capital?

Ps Some of these passwords have been changed to hide their identity


Categories: Blog

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