On September 5th, 2008 milburn wrote…

Forgetting Passwords

Today, I forgot my password. I don’t have a habit of forgetting passwords however our school requires us to change passwords every 3 months. That’s obviously a good security practise but that means another password to invent.

4 months ago and I’m sure I could of told you what my password was. Unfortunately I only used the password two or three times so it didn’t sink in, then I went on holiday completely forgetting about everything school related including my password. Of course our school has some good computer technicians who promptly allowed me to change it.

Password security is an interesting topic so I’m going to write 4 posts about some good practises. In later posts I will cover storing, remembering and choosing passwords. In this post i’m going to consider the question: “What should you do if someone forgets their password?”

Well, the most important thing is proving that they own the account. Our brilliant technicians, lazy as they are, failed to implement this check. I just told them my name and typed in my new password. The best way of checking identity is using biometrics. A quick check with the photos on the school database would of proved that I am indeed Thomas Milburn. If they didn’t have my biometric information they could of asked me about something personal.

Not everyone is happy giving away personal data so make sure you don’t ask something too private. Questions concerning irrelevant personal facts are probably best like: When did you first go abroad? What was the name of your first teacher? and What is your favourite book?

Of course no one should forget their passwords in the first place. Watch out for my next post about the best methods of remembering passwords.

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