Too Many Passwords

Ask any tech person about passwords, and you’ll probably let get the same advice.

  1. Use complex passwords
  2. Never reuse passwords
  3. Change your passwords frequently

We know this is a huge task. I’ll let you in on a secret- most of us techies don’t follow all of that advice as well as we should. We all can do it better, and I want to help. Some tips before we start:

Remember why we have passwords

You need to be able to prove who you are to a given service. We call it Authentication. It’s how a service knows that you are who you claim to be. In the face-to-face world, we do this by recognizing each other, by our faces, by our voices, or by putting your name in your handwriting. Most of the time, in a face-to-face encounter, it doesn’t matter. The clerk doesn’t care who you are, as long as you have the cash to check-out.

Web sites are different. They often offer a custom, personalized experience. Some companies, like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft trying to provide identity services, effectively to vouch for you to other web sites, but the adoption isn’t complete, so we’re stuck managing these  relationships.

I’ve got good passwords for the things that matter

Often, when presented with this untenable situation, people throw up their hands, and say “I’ll have a handful of good passwords for the things that matter, and the rest, I’ll use a generic password.” This seems reasonable on the surface, though remember that services change over time, and a thing that doesn’t matter today might have financial information tomorrow. Any one (or several) of your accounts could help establish that the person who has control of it is you. Additionally, when you reuse your password, you’re trusting every site that stores it to not accidentally share it. Inside tip: the staff at those workplaces are spread just a thin as the staff at your own. Not a month goes by when an organization that should ‘know better’ suffers from a data breach, which often includes password information.

But I don’t have any secrets…

Some people don’t see the point in keeping their passwords safe, secure, and current. They’ve got nothing to hide. The thing is, it’s not about hiding anything. It’s about your identity. If I know your password, I can be you. Imagine of someone was going around town, pretending to be you, making promises. It doesn’t sound fun to me.

But that’s too many to remember!!!

You’re right. Most people couldn’t remember all of the passwords, PINS, and combinations for everything. It’s a mistake to try. Add to that the fact that a difficult to guess password is also difficult to remember, and possibly difficult to type, and it’s not surprising that people don’t follow rules for good passwords. What can we do?

I recommend keeping your passwords in a database of some kind. It can be a program on your computer, an app on your phone, or if you really need to, written down.

Wait, written down? I was told to never write down passwords!

I know, we told you to never write down your passwords. Trouble is, that sort of advice leads to all of the problems above. So I’d like to amend that advice to:

Treat your passwords like you treat your credit card number. Keep it a secret, keep it somewhere that you’ll know if someone’s going through it.

This could be your wallet. It could be a safe. It’s still not a post-it note under your keyboard, or on your computer screen. I recommend (and use) a program to lock them up (with a master password)

Next time, I’ll talk about random passwords and memory.

Traveller 5 Walkthrough Replay – Part 2

continued from Part 1

Ensign John Doe, age 22, 47B776 SEH, Wound Badge-1

Trader-1, Author-1, Battle Dress-1, Astrogator-1, Pilot-1, ACS-Pilot-2, Grav Flyer-2, Fleet Tactics-1

A: You picked Flight as your branch, and you’re stuck with that now. Roll d6 4 times, to see what your assignments were.

B: 2,3,5,1. What’s the get me?

A: Strike, Seige, Mission and Battle. Busy term. Your total risk mod is -5 (-3 for the battle, -2 for flight). You can use strength or dexterity for your controlling characteristic.

B: I can move that by playing it safe right? How safe can I play it? 

A: From -9 to 9.

B: Since I’d have to roll a 2 to succeed with a mod of zero, I’m going to be safe. +7. That gives me an end mod of +2, making my target 9. Rolled a 7. Made it.

A: And reward? Your target is 5

B: 10. Didn’t make it.

A: That’s alright. You need to check for promotion next. Remember you have a +4 from medals. Check vs Social

B: 6. Made it easy. Do I get to keep that +4 ongoing?

A: I’m not sure. Seems overpowered if so.

B: Also, it says here + WB mods. What’s WB.

A: It’s a wound badge. You have one of those too. They don’t list a value for that mod, and the example in the book doesn’t apply that mod. Let me check older revisions…
Looks like variable values for medals is new to 5.09, and in the past, the medal roll always applied. Also, previously, caution or bravery was either a +2 or -2 in 5.0. Another interesting change was that if you failed your risk roll, you didn’t get to make a reward roll. (Which explains the ambiguity on if the CC changes between risk and reward on a failed risk roll). So yeah, it’s a +5 for the rest of your career (unless you get another badge).

B: So I can just coast through my Spacer career after one big break?

A: Worked for John Glenn

B: I’ve got a name. Glenn Johnson

A: Sigh… You get 5 skill rolls. You’ve unlocked personal, strike, seige, mission and battle.

B: How about one for each table, in order. 6,1,6,2,2

A: That’s be Soc +1, Fighter, Sensors, Strategy, and Admin. Fighter is a weapon skill, like before. Do you want to improve Battle Dress?

B: No, I’m gonna get slug thrower. What’s next?

A: You have to roll to re-enlist, or to see if you are forced to remain in the navy. Roll vs 7. That’s weird, some places it says vs Str, some it says 7-. 5.0 says 7+terms

B: I rolled an 8, what’s that mean ?

A: I’m going to say it’s a failure vs Strength. Because the page that says 7- as the target hadn’t changed from 5 to 5.09, and the other did. Also, the fixed target + terms has been largely eliminated in 5.09. Time to muster out of the Navy. To start, you get a personal weapon, your choice of Battle Dress or a Slug Thrower.

B: I’ll take the dress

A: I thought you would. You also get your Medal, and because it’s a SEH, you get a lifetime membership to the Traveller’s Aid Society. Also, looks like you’re kinda famous. Fame 2 for your Rank and wound badge, plus Fame 2*8 for your SEH and rank. Total 18. You can roll flux for that if you want.

B: Sure, that’s d6-d6?

A: Yup

B: 4-4=0 — well, could be worse.

A: You get three rolls for benefits. 2 for your service, one for your medal. You can roll for monetary rewards or benefits.

B: Is there a limit to the number I can put into Monetary rewards?

A: Doesn’t look like it. Also, you can, if you like add up to two to modify none, any, or all rolls.

B: One in monetary, 2 in benefits then. I rolled a 2, 3, and 1. If like to add mod +2 to the first two.

A: That makes it 4, 5, and 1. That’s a StarPass, +1 to Str, and a forbidden knowledge?

B: That sounded fun, what’s it do?

A: A forbidden knowledge is a skill that one doesn’t speak of in polite society. Roll a d6.

B: Streetwise. Are we ready to play?

A: Yes, though I’ve got to work some things out to prepare. Figure out battle dress, and maybe come up with some vehicles, and a world to start you on.

Ensign Glenn Johnson, age 26, 57B778 SEH, Wound Badge-1 Fame: 18

Trader-1, Author-1, Battle Dress-1, Astrogator-1, Pilot-1, ACS-Pilot-2, Grav Flyer-2, Fleet Tactics-1, Slug Thrower-1, Sensors-1, Admin-1, Strategy-1, Streetwise-1

Traveller 5 Walkthrough Replay – Part 1

I’ve been excited about Traveller 5 since before the Kickstarter. It’s been slow going getting errata and clarification for the game out, and there’s not much being written about it. So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to follow the advice from the old Book 0 and get to know the territory. I plan on sharing this in the form of fictional conversations between two players, followed by a commentary post.

Continue reading Traveller 5 Walkthrough Replay – Part 1