Your Password Security Adviser

Get a “time to change your password” message from Human Resources but can’t think of a new one? Afraid an illegal immigrant has stolen your password to get your hard-earned Social Security benefits? Ask Your Password Security Advisor, he or she (my sex, like all of my personal information, is private!) probably has the answer.

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Dear Password Security Advisor:

Last night I came home from my retirement party at United Bag Stitching Machines and what do I see when I walk in the door but a kitten. “What is this?” I asked my wife Myrna, and she goes “Duh–it’s a kitten!” That may seem fine to you, but Myrna and I had a deal that we weren’t getting any more pets because I want to travel in my “golden years.” I have a dream that before I die I will visit all 50 states and get a commemorative pin from the gift shop in the state capitol building–is that too much to ask?

When I reminded Myrna of her promise she said she got a notice that her password at Betty’s Needlepoint Shoppe had been “compromised” and she had to get a new one. What does that have to do with getting a cat, I asked, and she said her old password was MizzKitzy–“Mizz Kitzy” was our last cat, who we “put down” a few years ago after she kept upchucking on the Atlanta Falcons throw rug in the den. “I had to get a new cat because they wouldn’t let me use MizzKitzy anymore–this is ‘SparklePuss’ and that’s my new password.”

Mr. or Ms. Password Security Advisor, I’m pretty sure that’s not how it works. I don’t think you need to get a new “thing” to base your password on, you can just make something up, right?

LeMoyne Durley, Marietta, Georgia

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Dear LeMoyne–

I sense an undercurrent of hostility between you and your wife that neither of you are facing up to. Myrna doesn’t want to be stuck in a tacky recreational vehicle driving around the country wasting gas so you can buy a pin that says in tiny letters “I visited Idaho and all I got was this (cont. on other side) lousy pin.” Perhaps you can take up a sedentary hobby in retirement that doesn’t require travel, such as cleaning out the litter box once a week. And my compliments to Mizz Kitzy for her excellent taste in rugs to throw up on.

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Dear Password Security Advisor:

My marriage of twenty years came to a screeching halt last month when my husband “Bill” (his full name is “William” but I understand you are supposed to use “pseudonyms” when writing to advice columnists) left his phone open and I see a text message from somebody named “Punkin.” The somebody, by the way, was not me.

When I confronted Bill he admitted he has been seeing a woman on his “second” bowling night each week. He told me he was in two leagues, but he is only in one, on Tuesday. On Thursday, he has apparently been pouring his heart out to Vondra Ferde, who mans or I guess womans the bowling shoe rental desk, spraying them with disinfectant when they are returned, etc.

All of this may sound like “small potatoes” or maybe “sour grapes,” but Bill and I have always shared passwords for websites, utility bills, department store credit cards, etc., and all are “derived” from “Punkin,” which was my nickname at Tri-Valley Consolidated Regional High School, where Bill and I met. He started calling me “Punkin” when he was a senior and I was a sophomore but I guess Vondra is his new “Punkin.”

Anyway, my question after that long wind-up is–who gets joint passwords in a divorce? I will be damned if I’m going to give that jerk the best twenty years of my life AND start all over with new passwords.

Yours truly,

Wanda Weir, Cordalia, Iowa

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Dear Wanda–

I checked with Jack Bargy, our “in-house counsel” at Password Security Advisor who is interning with us while he waits to see if he passed the bar. He looked on the internet and found that Iowa is not a community property state, so you and Bill are free to fight it out tooth and nail over those “Punkin” passwords. Get a good divorce lawyer, I wouldn’t hire Jack, he is cheap but has already flunked the exam twice.

Dear Password Security Advisor:

Recently I was contacted by my bank and told that because of new security “protocols” whatever they are, I had to get a new password that included a number, upper and lower case letters and a “special” character such as an interrobang. I don’t know why they are doing this, my current password is “password,” which I was told is the most popular password in America and I am the most popular girl at Whidmore College, the top-ranked women’s college in Alabama.

Password Security Advisor, I really don’t want to give up “password”–it means a lot to me, and it saves a lot of time when I’m trying to redeem loyalty points or fill out a “Reason for return” form when I send back a pair of pants that I’ve only worn on a couple of several dates.

I know banks are regulated by the government–who do I contact to appeal this decision? If I have to give up “password” I want some kind of victim relief award or class action settlement.


Ellen Grofe, Campus Mailbox #678, Whidmore College, Ironton, Alabama

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Dear Ellen–

I think the solution is staring you right in the face! Use 678Whidmore as your password and if you forget it, just ask the campus post-mistress what number is yours. Do not, however, check your box for emails, they go to a different place.

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