Brad Feld

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What Is Your Password That Everyone Knows?

Oct 04, 2006
Category Technology

I was in a meeting today in Redmond when someone mentioned something about Passport and Live ID.  It reminded me of something that happened a few weeks ago that I meant to write about, but forgot.

A few weeks ago, I was in a meeting at one of my portfolio companies using the CEO’s computer when I did something that caused a password request box to appear on some random website that I had surfed to.  I turned to the CEO and asked “what’s your password that everyone knows.” He laughed and said it out loud, which I then used to log in successfully to the random website.  I then turned to the person next to the CEO and said “What’s your password that everyone knows?”  He looked shocked and said “I don’t have one.”  I responded with “c’mon – of course you do.”  “Nope, he replied smugly.”  I then asked if his girlfriend knew any of his passwords.  His smug look disappeared – he had figured out which of his passwords everyone knew.

Do you have a password that everyone knows?  In our wonderful world of security, online identity, online storage, and hundreds of theoretically unique and secure systems that each of us use every week, do you ever wonder how secure you really are?

Ironically – the CEO’s password that everyone knows happens to be the same as the password of his previous business partner – that everyone knows.  Time to change a few passwords.