Passwords galore to manage

Every now and then people are creating passwords which demand patience, ingenuity and a bit of jugglery

Updated - November 02, 2014 01:24 am IST

Published - November 02, 2014 01:12 am IST

What is supposed to be intrinsically strong, have different characters, be case-sensitive, kept as a secret and can only have a single owner? Not many guesses for that — it’s a password.

Remember Enid Blyton’s The Secret Seven and their password, meetings and investigation of mysteries. Well, passwords are not passé any more. They are not just for children to have a thrill and a bit of excitement either. In the cyber world it’s the key to unlocking sites and unravelling new worlds. It helps operate your bank account, buy movie tickets, shop from home, plan your travel, and much more....

My own tryst with passwords began the day I opened a GMail account. I’m not tech-savvy, and I have my limitations when it comes to using the personal computer. My profession demanded that I acquire certain computing skills, whereas in my personal life I have to occasionally log in to glean some information or view popular videos, and so on.

I was soon at ease managing my e-mail, and the password was also taken care of. But I was blissfully unaware of privacy settings. My complacency crashed when, after a hiatus of five weeks I tried to log into my account. The message, ‘your password is incorrect’, did not perturb me the least, even though it flashed even after three unsuccessful attempts.

With apprehension and also a cocky sense of confidence I went to the password assistance page, where a series of questions with multiple-choice answers were settled. Yet at the last page, the message, ‘try again’, stared at me.

So for the next three to four days it was me and Google, trying different combinations. What little I remembered of my password proved futile. My heart went out to my unopened inbox.

Panicking, I contacted a few of my students who I knew had an edge over me as far as technology was concerned. Swallowing my pride, I had to confess before them my inability to log in. They patiently heard me out and tried to help me — but to no avail.

Tearfully, I had to come to terms with opening a new account. Sighing over the loss of memorable links, mails and photographs, I decided to give it one last try. Armed with a sheet of paper and pen, I logged into GMail, and with the rule of elimination tried several combinations. That worked, to my utter delight and surprise, and the page magically opened. I quickly reset the password and noted the recovery e-mail id, the secure question and all.

With a sense of relief, I scribbled the new password in the form of various cryptic clues all around the house — the telephone diary, calendar and the notepad. Finally, with a very strong feeling of security and satisfaction, I signed out.

Every now and then people are creating passwords which demand patience, ingenuity and a bit of jugglery. We are cautioned not to use nicknames, birthday or anniversary dates and school or college names, in short not to create anything that might be very familiar or too easy to remember.

The trick, therefore, lies in living out your fantasies, digging deep into mysterious references, a reference known only to you. And so, with a sense of achievement, a password is created. A page solely for passwords is also created, going by the number of them an individual has. Scrolling to the bottom line, since a password is that one vital link to connect to the virtual world, its role cannot be undermined or overlooked.

Yet, one can only wonder if there could be passwords to unlock the human emotions to enter a person’s mind and delete any anger, hatred lurking there, or a universal password whereby we can reach out to people across the globe irrespective of gender, caste, creed or nation. It may not be possible, but who can tell?

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.