Here’s an infallible method for remembering your PIN. However, before accessing the information, you have to key in your username and secure password (at least six digits) by pressing on the appropriate letters in the headline above.
Never divulge your password to another person. Do not write it down and then leave the piece of paper where people might expect to find it, for example in the same place you hid the 17-digit customer reference number your gas supplier took the trouble to choose for you personally.
Don’t make your password easy to guess. Don’t choose the nickname you had at school, because criminal gangs will access Friends Reunited, kidnap one of your contemporaries and torture him until he divulges your nickname. I reckon someone like old James Broad would crack easily in a minute or two.
Oh heck, now hundreds of people all over the world are at their computers, keying in the password “chunder”, and all Broad’s financial secrets are popping up on their screens. In the circumstances, I think I’ll give the old boys’ reunion a miss.
And don’t choose your dog’s name as your password. Criminals lurk in parks listening for people calling their dogs, then rush back to their lairs and use these passwords to order lowbrow books from Amazon.
I think it’s nice to have an intellectual password for Amazon; it impresses them. That’s why I chose “Gustave ” which is Flaubert’s first name. On second thoughts, it could be “Honoré “, for Balzac.
On the whole, mobile phone companies don’t go overboard for French literature, so, as a password, “Gustave” would be wasted on them. You need something that springs easily to mind – “amnesia” is certainly a candidate, but I think “divulge” is a good one, and quite euphonious. Then, as one is always needing new passwords for internet transactions, you can move on to “disclose”, “reveal”, “betray” and so on.
It’s a good idea to have, stored in your mobile, the number of a trusted friend you can call when you need to know what your own mobile phone number is. It would probably now be unwise to burden Broad with this duty.
You are not always at your best when talking on the telephone to your bank and it’s easy to become confused when they ask you, for security purposes, for the fourth letter of your mother’s maiden name. That’s why I have a large letter B painted on my sitting room wall. The B stands for “bathroom”, and reminds me that’s where I’ve hidden the shredder. The fourth letter of my mother’s maiden name is written on the bottom of the shredder.
It can also be hard to concentrate when there is a terrible racket coming from your burglar alarm because the dog (which, for security reasons, shall remain nameless) has accidentally set it off at two in the morning.
You have to key in those secret digits to silence it, but all you can remember at the time is the numbers you always pick for the Lottery. The noise is beginning to disorientate you and you are now trying to key in the postcode of your last address but one, followed by your extension number at the office and the combination of your locker at the gym.
By the way, never use your spouse’s birthday as your burglar alarm password; underworld gangs are constantly trawling through mountains of birth certificates, so that they can break into your house, silence the alarm and then steal your shredder, before cutting a swathe though your bank direct debits with the fourth letter of your mother’s maiden name.
It’s much better to use the birthday of your secret lover. If you don’t have a secret lover, it’s certainly worth considering getting one, simply for PIN purposes.
As the ringing in the ears continues, you begin to wonder if it was perhaps a genuine break-in. Maybe Broad, seeking revenge, has forced his way into the house and is, at this moment, spitefully painting over the letter B in the sitting room and replacing it with a mystifying W. On the other hand, it could be someone from Amazon who has popped in through a back window for a chat about Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.
The answer is to put all your pins, user names and passwords in one place. Divulge them to a discreet and sympathetic person in customers services at your gas supply company, then ring at any time of day or night, remembering to quote your 17-digit customer reference number. When ID cards arrive, things will be a little more complicated.