Pet Peeve - Passwords

by Scott Austin January 31, 2013

Pet Peeve - Passwords

We've all got pet peeves. One of mine is passwords. While I understand the need for 'strong' passwords in certain scenarios like when you are storing my PII or credit card info, I do not understand the need for strong passwords on other sites. Let me give you two recent examples that caused me to write about this.

My company recently created a Merrill Lynch account. We're storing money at this account, so I understand the need for a strong password. But ML required the password be exactly 6 characters. What the logic is behind that rule, I can't even imagine.

Over the holidays, I bought a Nike FuelBand. It is a fun gadget that acts as a watch and a pedometer. Nike stores my pedometer history in the cloud. But why does my password need a capital letter, a small letter and a number? Quite a bit of overkill if you ask me.

At my company, we're very focused on the customer experience. We question every click, page, or step that we make customers go through. We constantly strive to make the experience more intuitive, easier and convenient. I can only think that company that requires overly-arduous password rules does not have a similar customer focus.

Scott Austin
Scott Austin