About To Enter A Whole New World

, , , | Right | May 1, 2018

(A new user attempts to log into her system account but can’t. I troubleshoot, but cannot find a cause of the problem. I chalk it up to user error and do a manual forced login on the user’s behalf. The same thing happens again the very next day. Now I’m curious. I ask the user to tell me what she is using for her password.)

User: “Well, I know it needs some special characters, so I used my middle name, but put a dollar sign in place of the S, then the down-and-back arrow, and then part of my phone number with an exclamation mark for the one.”

Me: “The down-and-back arrow?”

User: “Yeah. That’s a special character, right?”

Me: “I’m not familiar with a down-and-back arrow. Do you mean one of the slashes?”

User: “No, the down-and-back arrow! On my keyboard, it’s above the Shift key.”

Me: *looks at keyboard* “The Enter key?”

User: “Yeah, that one.”

(I was going to explain how pressing Enter was the same as telling the computer you were done entering your password, but I changed my mind. I just told her that the down-and-back arrow was not a valid special character for this system. She picked a new password and seems to be doing just fine now.)

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