The Art of The Password – The Harvard Lampoon

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| Issue Editor: LAS '19 | Art Editor: LAS '19

The Art of The Password

  PKS '21

If you make your password a real word make it assword because that’ll make your hacker laugh. You can also make it sharp_as_sword if your name is Shar which works on a lot of levels, but just a heads up that is my password to everything so I might accidentally log in to your accounts and send myself some emails.

Never, ever, tell anyone your password. If you accidentally say your password, lie about it right after. I have never told anyone my password. Don’t even tell your mother your password, especially if your password is dad_left_because_he_was_cheating_on_you, because then your mom will disable your upgraded OKCupid account and you’ll lose all your progress right when you were so close to making the engagement round and finally winning the game.

Numbers make your password strong. Make your password 01001001 01000001 01101101 01110100 01101000 01100101 01000110 01000010 01001001. That says ‘I am the FBI’ in binary, and hackers know about binary so I guarantee they will run for the hills.

Always, always tell your password to one trustworthy person, like your mom, in case you die and someone needs to keep brushing your virtual horses and feeding your virtual moms.

Changing your password often is essential. A good rule of thumb is to change your password every season or four times a year, whichever is more often. Don’t change it too often or you’ll confuse the hackers. We’re all just people after all, and we’re all in this together.

If your password is hacked your hacker will have to answer a security question. Make your passwords red herrings, like my_first_pet’s_name_is_red_herring if Red Herring is actually your sister’s name, or my_maiden_name_is_Elizabeth if maiden names are an entirely outdated concept and you’ll be keeping your name through marriage. Make your password my_first_kiss_was_at_an_anime_convention if your first kiss was actually on the sidewalk outside of the anime convention while my dad waited in the car.

To complete the password trifecta add symbols, like the exclamation point or the motif of the raven in Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. Symbols serve as double duty password defense. Consider the following passwords: do_not_hack_me, and do_not!!_hack_me!!!. Which one is more likely to be hacked? Now consider the following password: Moby_Dick_symbolizes_God. Would that password be hacked? No, because nobody wants to hack a nerd.

Deep down, passwords are hackable because conscious minds are predictable. A medically-induced coma is a great way to break your mortal bonds and ascend to a higher realm of consciousness to brainstorm passwords that are gonna be harder to predict. If you use that method, write down your password backwards on a napkin. Tattoo it on your body backwards, so that it’s double backwards and double safe. Break all the mirrors so hackers can’t figure it out. If you forget your password, simply use the reflection of a stagnant pond to look at yourself and think about how dumb you are. You can’t even remember a simple password.