I have a simple question: How many “user names” and “passwords” are enough? Out of curiosity, I counted up all the various online accounts and memberships I have that require login information, and my current total is 93.
Some of the passwords are work-related, such as equipment selection and pricing programs from various manufacturers and access to areas of their websites that are not available to the general public. I have about 20 of these accounts.
The rest are personal, such as websites where I make purchases online: Target, Walmart, L.L. Bean, Home Depot, Dunkin Donuts, Panera, and Big Lou’s Discount House of Surplus Military Ordnance. (I’m kidding. I would never buy surplus military ordnance over the Internet with a credit card. It’s much better off the back of a stolen truck with cash.)
Then there are the various accounts I need in order to pay for all the stuff I buy online: two bank accounts, three credit cards, a debit card, PayPal, and Big Lou’s Discount House of Payday Loans at Only 30% Interest — Compounded Daily.
I have online accounts to pay other bills over the Internet: electric company, homeowner’s insurance, cell phone, and our Internet provider. (That’s an interesting arrangement: we pay for our Internet service via the Internet.)
The rest of my online user names and passwords are related to digital communications. They include a handful of different email accounts, my blog and Mailchimp accounts, a few wifi networks, access to the online versions of various newspapers and magazines, the MLB app, YouTube TV, and social media. By the way, I only have social media accounts with LinkedIn and Facebook. And yes, I know I’ve written many times in the past that Facebook was created by Satan, but I had to set up an account recently to watch Sunday Mass being live-streamed by my parish during the shutdown. I wonder if the Prince of Darkness had mixed feelings about having his invention used to proclaim the Gospel?
Then, of course, there are the accounts I have with the four corporations that run the entire world: Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon. I think when children are born nowadays, the hospital sets up user accounts for the infants with these companies. I guess that makes sense, since it’s impossible to be a member of modern society without this quartet of digital leviathans collecting personal data about every aspect of our lives.
Uh oh. I probably shouldn’t have typed that last sentence. Now, I have to disappear from all the creditors. I’d better contact Big Lou’s Discount House of Getting a New Identity and Dropping Off the Grid. Also, I might need some discount surplus military ordnance.