Schooled By a 14-Year-Old on Good (and Bad) Passwords

by Bill Brenner on September 7, 2015

This is about an information security practitioner getting schooled by a 14-year-old about something as basic as an iPhone PIN number.

Mood music:

Since I work in information security, family expects me to be THE expert. And sometimes I ask for trouble when I try to teach people a lesson — like grabbing phones and writing on the owners’ Facebook walls to demonstrate the value of having a security PIN on the phone.

One day my oldest son decided to give me a taste of my own medicine.

He had been watching me punch in my PIN for some time, and when the opportunity arose, he grabbed my phone, correctly entered the PIN and wrote on my Facebook wall.

“You should be ashamed of yourself,” my son said. “You’re Mr. Security in the family, but you let yourself get hacked by someone who can’t even drive a car.”

Fair enough.

The lesson: No matter how much experience you have in security, you’re still an easy target if you get lazy. In my case, I was lazy about regularly changing my PIN.

I don’t think he’ll guess what it is now. But I’ll change it again soon, just to be safe.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Penny Richards September 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm

I loved it when my daughter taught me something. With respect to you, respected friend, good for you son.

jonee September 8, 2015 at 10:42 am

I don’t have one of those around the house (14 yr olds) – how lucky/blessed you are!

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