May 26, 2011

Day 1: My password will expire in 10 days.

Sometimes I’m at work, minding my own business, when all of a sudden BAM! I’m interrupted by a popup window that demands my attention and demands a response. It says to me: “Your password will expire in 10 days. Do you want to change it now?” As you may recall from my previous blog post, or from any previous encounter with me, I don’t like doing anything that I don’t absolutely have to. I’m not lazy, but why should I do anything that I don’t have to? So let me think about this…my password will expire in 10 days, do I want to change it now? Well, no, I want to change it 10 days from now, when I have to. So I click “No”. For 10 days. For 10 days they ask me this. Why?

It’s as annoying as if my car were to say to me, “Hey, you’ve got a 1/4 tank left, do you want to get gas now?” No, car, because I’m the type of person who likes to wait as long as possible before filling up, because waiting as long as possible means I spend less of my lifetime at gas stations filling up my car with gas. I don’t get gas when it’s a 1/4 full for the same reason that I don’t get gas when it’s 3/4 full: I have enough.

If my trash can said to me, “The trash will be full in 10 days, at which point you will have to empty it, would you like to empty it now?” then I would look at it strangely, and not just because it was talking to me. Why would I want to empty the trash 10 days before I had to?

With this popup, changing your password is a lose-lose situation. If you change it early, then you have to change your password more often—Who wants to do that?—and if you change it later, then you have to spend 10 moments of 10 days saying, “No, I want to change my password as infrequently as possible,” and who wants to waste 10 moments of their life doing that?

Not me.

So, People Who Make This Password Expiring Popup: I’m not happy. You know what to do.