Monday, March 28, 2011

On Not Matching Things


No doubt you have been in a sleepy mood one day and mistyped your email password, only to be told that your "username and password do not match". This happened to me the other day. Unfortunately, I was always taught that you should choose a password that was not the same as your user name. It's more secure that way. For that reason, I have never used Alphanumeric Sheep Pig in any of my passwords.

At first I thought that it might be some new security policy - make the password the same as your email so that it would be unique... Very smart... However, I couldn't access my email in order to change my password to match my username. Frustrated, I realised that this new policy would mean that anyone with your email address would know your password, but I was not prepared to assume that some programmer I have never met would have realised the same thing. As a result, I was beginning to write an angry letter (since I couldn't get into my email) to state exactly what I thought of the idea.

Halfway through the letter, I decided to try logging in again, and this time my password worked. Looking back, I think that perhaps it was trying to tell me that I had entered either the username or password incorrectly, but if that was the case, then surely it would have just said so?
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