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5 Crazily Primitive Ways We Use Advanced Technology

#2. Recycling Passwords

Basically every site on the Internet now will ask you to log in to it. Sometimes this can be ignored if you want to remain anonymous, like if you're on kind of a shady website. But almost all of the good sites require it, and when you do ultimately create accounts, every single one of them needs a password. And every single one of them is also very insistent that we pick unique passwords each time. Which means to use the Internet as directed, we're required to remember dozens of unique, mixed-case, symbol-containing gibber-words, a feat that is more or less impossible for our caveman brains to manage.

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"Hi, tech support? No, I can't even see the password prompt. It's just making a low, kind of whirring sound. Reboot it? Ooooo...K."

And so, to simplify our lives, we just use the same password everywhere, which it turns out is only marginally more effective than locking a door with a really good knot.

No shit. It turns out that when we use a password at multiple sites and one of those sites happens to, say, give that password to some hackers who asked nicely for it, then every single one of your accounts will be compromised.

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"Hi, yes, is your Refri93ra70r running?" -several minutes of snickering-

Security experts are adamant that reusing passwords is one of the dumbest things we do, that it wipes out all the hard work they put into building secure systems. And thus we end up in a situation where we have incredibly advanced security technology rendered useless because its chimp-like users find it too hard to use.

#1. Emailing Files to Ourselves

Basically every computer you use now is connected to the Internet, and if it isn't, you might not be using a computer.

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And given that every device we have is in essence and reality connected to every other device we use, it should be no problem moving files from one to the other, right? After all, we get our computers to talk to other computers for video chats, or gaming, or teledildonics all the time. It's so common, it's almost boring. But for some reason, if you want to move a file from one supercomputer to a different supercomputer 5 feet away, you're going to need three different pieces of software, a special cable, and a fucking warlock to get it all to work.

Which is why every single one of us has emailed a file to ourselves like some goddamned caveman.

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"Maybe you should just set up Dropbox?"

Oh, fuck you, caveman. Yes, I've thought of that. And it works great, if Dropbox is already installed on both machines. If not, like if you're on a friend's computer or something, then you're mucking around with installing it, and/or setting up shared folders or public folders or some other damned thing. I grant that it's entirely possible, but it will require a few minutes of thinking and poking around to set up. Also importantly, it involves copying files to a third party, which might not be kosher with whatever corporate IT policies you or your friend have to deal with.

And it's the exact same logistical nightmare for setting up an FTP site or mapping a network drive or any of the other "proper" solutions to the problem. All possible, but they all take a non-trivial amount of forethought and effort to get to work. Emailing files to ourselves, however ass-backward it is, is still the fastest, most universally workable solution available. Which is how we find ourselves not striding confidently into the future, instead tripping and pratfalling into the open manhole of the present.




Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and your best friend. Join him on Facebook or Twitter and make him reconsider that.

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