Observation on tech – passwords and especially Facebook password

Tech goes forward in waves. Some of the ideas of what we see today implemented in our tools, was on someone’s sketchboard in 1980s.

Computer graphics was theoretically very powerful and intricately designed, but electronics manufacturing methods for making equivalently superb GPUs was not yet there.

GPUs nowadays do photorealistic rendering of computer generated imagery: what we see in many movies and computer games is done by a chip that contains up to a few billion tiny gates, the very core of logic processing.

In 2022 we’re seeing more and more virtual reality headsets, whose ideas were laid down in 1960s and 1970s.

But let’s go a bit even to more everyday things: passwords.

Facebook password – why is it a special case?

I can’t exactly describe what they may be doing differently at Facebook, but every time I have had to change the Facebook password, I remember there seems to be a bit of extra hassle. Is it true?

Well turned out it is. On my particular Password manager (which is a extension in my Firefox browser), it can’t save (or “capture”) the changed Facebook password. So once I do change the password to a new one, I’m basically left out; sorts… The next time Facebook asks me the password, I rely on my password manager, which doesn’t anymore know the password – since it did not capture the new password.

Let’s find out to the best we can, what’s happening.

Plan for changing Facebook password:

  1. you go to the Facebook page of your own profile (ie. log on normally to Facebook)
  2. change password through a menu item
  3. read the quality guidelines for password (requirements)
  4. generate a new password either in your head, or in the Password manager
  5. let Password manager save the new password from now on – the manager should very soon, after having changed the password, propose to learn (capture) the new password – asking me, whether I want to update Facebook’s password. I answer Yes.
  6. log out of Facebook
  7. clear the Firefox cache and saved log on credentials, at least do this for Facebook site
  8. try to log on automatically to the site using the new password

I use a browser-based password manager, which helps keep passwords made of good quality (complex), and fills them in on web pages automatically, if I choose to. The automation can be set “per site”.

My daily net life is much more fluid and easy. I can almost forget passwords completely.

The one exception is when I change a password. The manager’s User interface is a tad slow, and it’s a good practice to not rush the password change. When changing a password, I have to..

  • navigate to the right place on the web app
  • click on a password change -button or menu item
  • go to a field that allows entering new password
  • follow the password quality guidelines, as I type
  • I can speed up the generation using password manager
  • accept the change, by clicking (usually) ‘Change’ button
  • confirm to the Password manager that I want to save the new password associated with the site

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