TS;DR*: Please stop re-using passwords, but longer with an aggressively awkward meter and it rhymes.

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Once upon a thankless query, did I excogitate a theory
From the superfluous panoply of derelict accounts galore
While I scrolled, next door to drowsing, importunely came while browsing
Yet another grim arousing of some motion at my chamber door
“Tis grubhub,” I muttered, “setting grub outside my door-
Only this and nothing more.”

And yet, I felt some grim foreboding, like some required undone recoding
As if somehow downloading long forgotten files before
I may have erred in thus creating multiple accounts relating
To a single passcode varied nary by “1234”
And used again repeatedly whenever such was wanted for
Or just a name and nothing more!

As I mused upon this folly, softly then there came a volley
Escalating to a squall of knocks inflicted on my chamber door
There outside my sacred address, such repeat demands for access
Hearing now the raps and taps that I had never heard before
That I had never heard despite my never having listened for
The wind, perhaps, and nothing more?

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And all the while this faint intruding thought disruptive to my brooding
Have I been myself deluding through laggard practices of yore?
Had I, through such apathique, designed to make defenses weak
To set the hounds of risk on this such constitutive score?
The fiend that lurks outside the light and preys upon your credit score
What need to lock an open door?
A birthday, or 1234
Only this and nothing more

And the password, never shifting, still is sitting, STILL is sitting
On the valid trust of palace keys and secret cryptic doors
And the eyes have all the seeking of the daemon’s overkeeping
And the access to the streaming service, bank accounts and more
And each account remains an invitation to come back for more
And shall be pwned — evermore!

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(*Too scary; didn’t read. And my most sincere apologies to Edgar Allan Poe.)

Emmi Bane is a medical ethicist specializing in data governance, and New Relic’s premiere privacy clown. Emmi is passionate about language and communication, and finding new, weird ways to engage people in ethics and privacy. View posts by .

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