The Secret Life of Passwords

The Secret Life of Passwords
By Ian Urbina,
January 31st, 2017

“It’s the details that make people distinct, that make them individuals.”

The link to the New York Times article below is not, as I expected, a techie-geek treatise on internet security, not strictly that, not entirely.  True, it’s overture has to do with the security we create, or attempt to create, or not, by our combinations of letters, characters and numerals available on our keyboards.  But it’s more than that.

Howard Lutnick had an urgent need to uncover passwords of employees of a New York financial services company, under the most dire of circumstances.  In doing so, in attempting to accomplish a seemingly impossible need of the business, to ferret out the cryptic composition of ciphers created in order to conduct business, he began to discover the nature of them.

And of ourselves.

The Secret Life of Passwords is about technology but it also about us, about our humanity, the ways we infuse passwords with ourselves, with our life, with our experiences, memories, passions, loves, hates, with parts of us seldom revealed to those with whom we share our lives.  

In our attempt to create passwords we can memorize and recall, we create what Urbina refers to as “keepsakes”.

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