Password Etiquette

Now I need to go through and change a couple of passwords. I noticed a few days ago that someone was staring intently at my fingers when I was typing a password. I fumbled the password a couple of times, so they watched my fingers as I typed the same password three times. I am very bothered by this, but I hate saying to someone "could you please be polite and look away while I'm typing my password?" You would think that this would be common courtesy and not require that someone be reminded of basic manners.
  • Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Insane. I see that all of the time and don't get it. I even turn my head when my husband is typing his password.
Don't you just hate that? Of course, I could stare at your fingers all day long and still not figure out the Cyrillic letters :)
It's experimental and hasn't been updated in almost five years. Further, with reasonably robust test suites, its wins should be negligible. I suspect you won't even gain the performance wins of strong typing (at least, that's what I'm seeing in the code).

In short, it's something I would be interested in if it were maintained and hadn't failed all of it's tests, but it fails on both counts :)

If you're using it to help with some code which doesn't have tests, I'd recommend Class::Contract instead if you have OO code. Otherwise, I'd consider "bell tower/deer rifle" mode.
thanks, that's kind of what i suspected :)

i have a new developer starting on thursday, and he asked if we used "use types" -- to be quite honest i hadn't even heard of it, and some googling and perl monks searches returned nothing useful to me.

as usual, you are a bastion of knowledge!
I even do this when I know what the password that's going to be typed in is. I figure it's just common courtesy, not to mention frustrating for the other person to have their fingers watched meticulously while typing.

The way I normally handle that is by typing in a completely wrong password a couple times, grunt in frustration, then ask that person to come back in a couple minutes. Usually, they will.
You're being overly sensitive to the insensitive.

A simple "please don't look at my keyboard" is usually sufficient. For the extremely clueless (I work with one such who has privacy issues - ours, not his) firmly refusing to type any more while that person is looking has been sufficient.

And yes, I look away when someone is typing their password.
The reason I do so is because of a prior co-worker, who would get pissed and scream and rant whenever I asked him not to do that, because he had no tact or class. So I would up spending time working around him, and my habits have carried through to today.
There's nothing wrong with belting said person round the head.

They may get the hint and not do it again.
Change that to "could you please be polite and look away while I'm typing my password?" and you're perfectly polite.

Personally I feel a bit silly to make a big display of looking away, so I generally don’t do that. But I certainly don’t stare. I simply pay no attention.

I once had a job where I was responsible for giving/denying access to restricted servers and locations. Part of that was also setting up a a digital pass-key with a changing 6-digit number (30 second rotation or 60 second rotation, depending on accesss level), in addition to creating a 4-digit code that would be changed by the user when they first logged on (I almost always used 3862, 7448, 3675, 7625 or 7827 as their temp, but that was just fun for me).

In some cases when someone was having trouble accessing or had to have their access upgraded, I would ask them to come to my office and type in their own 10-digit passcode (rather than ask them, over the phone, to read it to me and give up their singular 4-digit code).

I was completely amazed by how often people would try to watch me type in my administrator level passcodes and these were people who definitely *knew* better. During my first days on the job, I would politely ask them to look away, shortly thereafter, I began just staring at them with a "duh?" expression on my face until they looked away and when I became totally comfortable, I would just kind of laugh and jokingly ask them to watch my back or keep an eye on someone while I typed in my passwords.

I *pointedly* and *purposefully* look away while anyone types in any kind of password. If I'm at an ATM with a friend, I'll say "I'll watch your back" and turn my back to them.

It *is* common courtesy, and shouldn't need to be mentioned. However, courtesy and etiquette are not taught these days and a lot of people are plain ol' ignorant. As yet another example, I recently had to ask a dining partner to close their mouth while eating!
I usually take a step back when somebody's putting in a password...and give them my Librarian Stare (tm) if they don't do the same. It usually works. :)
I've been thinking a lot about recent changes to etiquette that may not have filtered through our culture yet. Passwords are one of those things, and we don't do anyone any favors by not teaching people how to be polite.

Of course, being polite while teaching politeness is quite difficult. I remember the moment and person who taught *me* to respect password privacy 15 years ago. It really hadn't occurred to me before that point that my interest in the subject at hand didn't preclude me looking away during critical points in the process. Their response made me feel idiotic, which did little to serve our relationship. Sure, I learned a lesson about etiquette, but lost much respect for the person for not having much knowledge of etiquette themselves.

I'm really sorry you had this experience. Having vulnerable passwords is a serious pain. Working with people that don't value the same rules of conduct is also a serious pain. Teach 'em how to play nice!
I will start talking to the person about something boring or annoying or even deeply personal about them, until they realize I'm just not going to type while they're looking.
I'm rude. I would ask I'll give you mine if you give me yours....
I have no tact...
I'd just stare at them and ask politely if I could help them with something.....