Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Open Sesame

Passwords. A string of case sensitive characters requiring you to type them verbatim; no typos allowed.
One needs passwords (or pass phrases) everywhere. PC, email, website, mobiles, ATM, suitcases and what not.

I decided to do a bit of a research on how people like to keep their passwords. This is what I found :

  1. Mostly one password for all the accounts, sometimes with minor variations, is preferred
  2. It might carry some information related to the account
  3. It might be contain your favourite person's name/birthday/mobile number etc
  4. It is preferable when its short and not alphanumeric
I'll say the best combination of "security and easy-to-remember" is when your password satisfies (2) and is alphanumeric. Personally, I like to have a different password for each account I have. Only recently, and covering most of my accounts, have I started to put some characters related to the account. My gmail and yahoo passwords are totally random. It does not even contain numbers related to me or people I like most. It was just a random word and some numbers thrown in between. Back then, when I had only these two passwords to remember (and one for my PC admin a/c: ok, my password was 'enhance'; come and screw my system!), it was easy to relate this random thought and the account. But around the time I finished college, I was having an increasing number of passwords that I considered keeping 'ishallnotremember' as a password for the next account!

My current count is 30+, some of which I confess, I rarely use; "Forgot my password" is perhaps the most clicked hyperlink on these sites! And I like to think I'm security paranoid and maintain different passwords for each account. To lay less strain on my memory, I maintain the same id for everything: lvshankar or use my gmail a/c.

Here's the list of accounts (not passwords) I use:

gmail(2), photonmail, yahoomail, skype, ubuntu (Home),XP(Office), launchpad, ubuntu counter, cooltoad, digg, ilugc, zapak, linux mint forums, geni,mayajaal, IPMS (work related), sparknotes, hotornot (my bro forced me into this), zedge, mediafire, mabango,olts (work related), axis iconnect (2+ATM PIN), hdfc(+ATM PIN, +CC PIN), bugzilla, spreadfirefox, windows live, lifehacker, irctc, mastercard securecard (?!?!), SIT Chennai... :-)

Besides the above, I remember some friends/relatives' passwords/ATM PINs.
A final tip. You might want to try L33t.

Update: A kind of universal login id is available these days. Open ID. It is similar to M$ Passport, but in a sense open. I haven't really tried this yet. One, am waiting for it to get *really* popular, and another, it dejects me to forget most of those passwords and remember just one. Just too easy for me.

Happy remembering!


PS: If you thought this post was a show off, you are probably right!

PPS: Since I've been reading uleadin's blogs lately, I have got this PSing habit! Aarggh!


Kunal said...

Wondering when u started writing some funny stuff :)
This is really considered some efficient use of office computer + billable hours..

Akshaya said...

hahahahahahaha... so Mr.I-am-so-careful.. why do u have 2 gmail accounts?!?!?
I really am gonna check if u remem alllll those accounts password as u claim :D

LVS said...


sad you couldn't be the first to comment. 2 gmail a/cs includes my dad's

uleadin said...

danks for the bublicity :D

Kavya Ravinarayanan said...

i like ur style . . impressive account !

Rukmani Ram said...

why do you have so many accounts?
why does anyone have so many accounts? you should ponder over that i guess..

LVS said...

no problem
some things mutual..:D

thank you...thank you

different needs, different providers.
google helped there a bit, gmail/orkut/blogger and some more are all a single a/c :-)

Beulah said...

Good for people to know.

LVS said...


thanks for dropping by :)

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