Passwords are annoying. Often you have to think of something that meets ridiculous safety requirements. It can't be so obscure that you forget it, but it also has to be hard enough for anyone to guess. Then you have to file it away along with the thirty-five other passwords you created for your favorite sites. And the painful irony of it all is that the system, which has more and more obscure passcode standards these days, has trained people to create passwords that computers can easily guess and that people just can't remember, as today's XKCD cartoon demonstrates.
The password system is broken. It's annoying for users and easy for hackers. And instead of crafting the perfect unbreakable code, people are forgoing security altogether.We're dealing with a password paradox. People either create guessable passwords, opening themselves up to hacking, or passwords become so difficult that nobody can remember them--and even then they're still hackable.
Even with fears of privacy and hacking, people still pick hackable codes, according to analyses reported by The New York Times's Ashley Vance. "One out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like 'abc123,' 'iloveyou' or even 'password' to protect their data." With so many passwords to remember, it's just easier to pick something super-simple, Jeff Moss, who founded a popular hacking conference and is now on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, told Vance. "Nowadays, we have to keep probably 10 times as many passwords in our head as we did 10 years ago.... Voice mail passwords, A.T.M. PINs and Internet passwords--it’s so hard to keep track of."