A Brief and Redundant Public Service Announcement About the Internet

OK, you know how tech enthusiasts like Farhad Manjoo are always telling you to

change that one password

you use for everything into a bunch of different passwords, so nobody hacks your stuff? And you’re like, yeah, I guess I should do that someday?

As a tech non-enthusiast, I would just like to add that it is better to change your lazy global password on a day of your own choosing than to change your lazy global password on the day you wake up to discover you’ve been locked out of Gmail and Twitter.

Really, it has to be.

I was lucky. I guess I had used a second-string garbage password for


—I’m not even sure what it was—so apparently all that happened was that some bot crammed the garbage password into all the keyholes associated with my e-mail address till everything was jammed up. But the equivalent hack in plenty of other places (say, if Amazon had

done something to make hackers really mad at it

) would have wrecked a lot more than my morning.

As a non-expert, I endorse Manjoo’s mnemonic-acronym approach. Something like: “This is the bullshit I have to do to log into Facebook now.” TitbIh2d2liFn. (Not exactly that one, hacky! I’m stupid, but not quite that stupid.) I’m not changing my actual compromised Gawker password, because who cares? (If the Gawker comments start getting spammed in my name, Gawker can go ahead and delete my account.) But for the stuff I depend on, OK, fine, yes.