Password woes

Yesterday was the first time I logged on to my work computer. I’d been issued with a username (a nice user-friendly numeric string), along with a garbled alpha-numeric password.

Fortunately, I was invited to change my password on first logging on. The strange thing was that instead of being asked to enter a password of my choice (with the standard security considerations like length, avoidance of consecutive characters, capital and lowercase letters), I was invited to choose one of four pre-defined passwords that had been presented to me.

Each was of the form CVCCVCCVC, C being a consonant, V being a vowel, presumably to make them easier to remember (e.g. cat-dog-bat), although each set of three characters is by no means guaranteed to be a word. Y was considered a vowel, giving a nice 13.8 billion possible passwords.

I thought I’d struggle to remember the password, but on day two, I managed to enter the username and password without referring to my notes.

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