Passwords multiply as users' rage rises

Monday, 8 September 2003, 3:29 AM EST

Dave Murphy, you would think, should know better.

He is an information technology consultant - someone who counsels the rest of us on how to protect our computer, by making it difficult for someone to decipher passwords, for instance.

Yet he keeps his four-digit bank card number in his wallet, and his various passwords are stored on a handheld computer that is always with him. At least, he says, the password database is encrypted and the note in his wallet is written in Chinese digits in Korean script.

"Without my little crib sheet, I can't remember all that stuff," said Murphy, of Ellicott City, who counts 279 different codes for the voice mail, computer and security systems, e-mail and Web sites in his life. "Who can memorize all that?"

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