Monday, October 03, 2005

O Password, O Password, Where Art Thou?

From The Scotsman:
Passwords add up to information overload for brain
The Scotsman
03 October 2005

INCREASING use of PIN numbers and passwords has left the average person struggling to remember at least 20 digits or characters on a daily basis.

With codes necessary to access e-mails and internet sites, pay for goods while shopping with chip and PIN cards, telephone banking, accessing voice mails and numerous other common activities, a new study by ICM found that one in five people has lost money, important data and even their job as a result of forgetting important pass details.

According to a survey of more than 1,000 adults, the average person now has to instantly recall 21 digits or characters from memory, but at least 40 per cent of people say they have forgotten codes at vital moments.


Michael Saling, head of neuropsychology at Melbourne University, calls it "busy-line syndrome" and has reported that a growing number of those who can't keep up are seeking medical help.

He said: "It's a condition people develop when they have too much on their plate. They begin to forget details about their life.

"Passwords and PINs are prime candidates for being forgotten, when they are just arbitrary numbers and people can't relate them to anything."
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Anthony H. Risser | |

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