Password Monster

What the hell was it again?

I volunteer for the school PA – there are about 5% of the families doing 95% of the work to raise money for planting trees, improving playgrounds and our latest coup – FLYING FOXES!! (self congratulatory whoop whoop!)

So everyone is excited and they drive past completely adequate schools to come to ours but they don’t appreciate the effort to get it looking/feeling so good.  This rant is about passwords – coz we have just transferred another chunk to the BoT account and what a (night)mare.   Forgot then had to reset password to a bank I hardly use.

You have been there… its late you just want to check the tanker arrival time or browse a sight you have not been on for some time and the ominous message “incorrect password” threatens to push you over the edge.

The banks have a soul destroying ploy to get you to:

  • have capitals AND numbers
  • have non dictionary words
  • Cannot be the same as your last 12 passwords
  • Cannot be similar to your last 6
  • Must have symbols and punctuation
  • Must include hieroglyphics  (maybe not this one but you get the idea)
  • Kicks you out after 3 tries and you need to sell a first born to retrieve

I was so annoyed I got the kids to draw a password monster each.   It is a frustration that everyone has.  There are some sites where your password is critical to keep secure and non-guessable – anything that involves money (banks, trademe, places where you have charge accounts).  The longer a password the more secure it is deemed.  Making it something that is unique to that site also means – that if someone happens to see it/find it – they only have access to that single institution. 

What is a good Password?

Talk to your IT professional about what is a good system.  There are a few programs that manage your passwords for you and you can even get some sites to generate a password for you.  You could Google "Password Manager" but I'd consult some geeky friend before committing your security to the people who pay to be first on the list.

It’s never a good idea to write a password down, until you get locked out.  That is when we get the idea to use notebooks/address books and all kinds of things that eventually make it LESS safe than having a simple password in the first place.

I was reminded why we have simple password criteria for Orange Cross.   We keep your information secure from others – but we want you to be able to get to it easily.

Two years ago we had discussion with the IT people who were creating Orange Cross for us.  What security criteria did we want?   

  • We wanted to ensure that the information was stored in one of the highest levels of security
    • it is
  • We insisted that we didn’t want anyone to see farm information without authority – 
    • we introduced the REVOKE option. 
  • We didn’t want passwords to be a burden
    • so they aren’t

Orange Cross is unique in that it respects privacy above all else – you control who has access to your information.  We are also real people and so the list of rules for passwords is pretty short.

This translates to a system where :

  • 1)  You can reset your password directly from login screen.    
    • No questions asked, as many times as you like, immediately an email will go to the login email and you will be able to reset and use for forever
  • 2)  It has to be at least 8 characters long.   
    • It can have numbers and letters and capitals – and it can be the name of your sisters cat – as long as you remember it
  • 3) You get as many times to get it right as you want.  
    • When its cold and your fingers are becoming unresponsive the last thing you want is to have a misspelling stop you from getting in.  (In my case kids can’t lock me out of it.)

To get a “button” or something that looks like an APP on your phone.  Save Orange Cross to your home screen (how to here) and when you first login select the small “remember me” box on the home screen.  Then you are 2 taps away from being in your own portal.

If you are struggling to remember it you have two options : trigger the password reset or ring the helpdesk.  We can’t see your existing password but we can reset it to get you going.


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