We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Password Chaos?

By Matthew F.
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Password chaos is a feeling of confusion or frustration felt by computer users with too many passwords and user names to remember. Password chaos as a phenomenon emerged in the 1990s with the emergence and popularization of the Internet. It can lead to a mixing of passwords and usernames and can cause difficulty logging in to many important programs or systems.

Password chaos can be found in the simple business person or the Internet-savvy teenager. Among the possible password and user names to be remembered are a computer log-in, system log-in, multiple e-mail addresses, work log-in, intranet log-in, Myspace, Facebook, fantasy football, Amazon.com, and a myriad of other essential on-line programs. Some programs have attempted to alleviate concerns by using password questions such as “What is your mother’s maiden name?” to remind the user of the password, but still others make it difficult by only allowing up to two or three incorrect log-ins.

Password chaos can be made more difficult by the restrictions set on password lengths and compositions by many programs. Some allow a maximum number of letters, other a minimum. Some allow for only lower-case letter, some are not case-sensitive. Some require one numeric character, some do not. Some do not allow alpha-numeric symbols, some do. Some programs require a password be changed every so often, some do not. These differences make the creation of passwords and the art of remembering them difficult.

Also known as “identity chaos,” password chaos can be compounded by the remembering of dates, bank account numbers, phone numbers, and a variety of other things in an increasingly digital world. Password chaos arises out of a need for security: many people refuse to use the same password for different programs because of the higher susceptibility to risk if one password is stolen.

Many programs and websites have attempted to reduce password chaos by allowing user names to be stored into a computer. The storing of a username into a computer allows a user to simply remember a list of passwords, instead of a list of both. Other programs have allowed users to keep both their username and password stored, allowing for instant access to a site. This, however, is not very safe and not recommended to those storing sensitive date.

The problem of password chaos can be solved by a digital wallet, or e-wallet. This can often be simply a document or list on a user’s machine. The digital wallet, like a real wallet, holds all of the owner’s important identity information in an organized manner. The digital wallet should keep track of individual programs, user names, passwords, and how often they should be changed.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.