Desktop support tech is helping a user at her desk, reports a pilot fish who happens to be close enough to hear what's going on.

"He asked the user to enter her password," fish says.

"She said, 'Password.'

"Yes, he said, please enter your password.

"'Password,' she said.

"He then asked if her password is 'password.'

"She said, 'Of course.'

"We promptly changed and tightened up our password requirements."

Sharky wants to pass the word to remind you about fresh guidelines for better passwords from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (along with an explanation of why NIST's new rules are better). Take a look -- and after that, don't forget to send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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