Friday, August 12, 2011

Passing Words

Independence Day is around the corner now, and no, this is not another blog on patriotism, which some of my blogger friends have covered very nicely indeed. Right now I wish I could be completely dependent on someone dependable to just memorize some stuff for me.

It was way back in 2000, that I opened my first Yahoo account.  That was my first ever account in anything and I loved it.  I coined a simple id and a really easy password quickly and used it happily for two years.  And then, I also got a bank account with an ATM card, my second ever account.  Well, these were the only two accounts for I ever had to remember anything and this happy state of affairs continued right through my college and then I landed my first job and boom!

I had a new bank account opened- a new password for debit card, net banking had three passwords, the demat account had one more password, gmail caught up with me, my office assigned a new email to me and a separate login account for its intranet, I opened a demat account, my dad sent me his internet banking account credentials to manage, I got a couple of credit cards from different companies with separate login credentials! I don’t want to even start on the other string of my online accounts on facebook, twitter, Netflix, iphone, apple, itunes, indiblogger, various  random sites such as shutterfly, retail stores –Macy’s, Target, Kohl’s where I had accounts and so on and so forth.  Each account that I opened told me that I should not write down my password anywhere lest it fall into wrong hands.  I tried memorizing and using those password remembering devices that locked with another password. I really tried.

But well, security is all important of course. One has to keep updating those dastardly things at different frequencies of a month, quarter or in a year.  The brainwave of writing them down and stowing them into a locker with a real key which I don’t have to remember (unless it’s a combination lock!) didn’t work for me since I forgot to update that hallowed sheet!  Still, security is what is key for various accounts of different levels of importance and hence the different requirements – no caps, no small caps, mandatory special symbols, spaces, my name should not be in the id or password, date of birth is not allowed either in either, no consecutive letters, no consecutive numbers, it cannot be simple, it has gotta be a jumble of preferably some indecipherable non word which is atleast 10 characters long!  To remember passwords using the blessed link ‘Forgot Password?’ one has to remember answers to weird questions.  I was given the idea of putting the same answer for all, sadly the same answers were not accepted either! And the buck didn’t stop there. Now it’s the ids that make  me miserable  with new accounts demanding new jumbles of my name as my id since there was no availability of even a pathetic mix backwards and forwards of my first, middle, last name and date of birth  (maybe I made that id and forgot the id and password!).

At this point in time, I am pretty much living on my credit card which I had fortunately linked to my bank account to be debited automatically. Since I have pretty much forgotten all my debit card pin numbers, and the banks have already reissued me new cards thrice, I am too sheepish to ask for more and for fear that they will freeze my account due to suspicious activity! My bank account online has locked on me after entering the incorrect password 5 times and I cannot reactivate it as it requires my atm pin which I have forgotten and reactivating the atm card with a new pin requires atleast the phone ‘TIN’ whatever that is!  I am in trouble! I hope now, the sabziwallahs in Mumbai accept credit cards soon or I will have to turn to my friends and family for cash (I know that’s a good excuse, right?) or sell jewellery for cash! Now I can only pray that my credit card bill has been paid for and my salary continues to drop into my account. God help me!


  1. Oh you poor thing! That was one hilarious if desperate plea for help. I can sympathise with you here, for I keep asking for new passwords from my banks for netbanking and have hit upon a uniform password for all my email accounts -- I have four!!

    And i do hope your credit card bill has been paid LOL

  2. lol!
    not to worry - gold will get you a very good price now!

  3. haha I hear you. I just use the same password for all the important sites: fb, gmail. Use a random password for my personal cool email (@ my own domain) and tie it up with gmail. Gmail has this awesome feature of syncing with your email a/c so you can receive mails from all email addresses and send from them right from the gmail interface.

    For the less important sites, which might store my password as plaintext or which I dun give a rat's ass if someone steals my account, I use password as my password which makes things easier

  4. Very hilarious blog and practicle difficulty too. In addition to the ones mentioned the blog there are IDs and passwords for,, so on and so forth. The best way as Tata Docomo ad says: "Keep it simple silly".


  5. Waah Waah!!!!LOL
    So truee!!
    Passwords are so annoying.
    Often I have to think of something that meets ridiculous safety requirements.
    It can't be so obscure that I forget it, but it also has to be hard enough for anyone to guess.
    I guess We're dealing with a password paradox.

    But pass words are window or one point access to to the world of work. leisure & other imp information nowadays.
    And now I do believe some day we have to pronounce it synonymous to Air, water & food .
    Keep Writing

  6. Lol there is a simple solution to all this man. You write a email having all ur passwords and usernames. You save that email as draft. When u change a password, you change it in the email also and save it again in draft. That way you have only one password to remember and u can access it from anywhere around the globe. :)

  7. @zephyr - I so wish I could maintain the same password for everything, but then the requirements keep changing! It's a real pain!

    @Magiceye - :( My lovely lovely yellow metal!

  8. @slaith - ah, good advice. I started using it but now i don't know which ones are this simple password and which ones are that complex password. By the time I realise, I am locked out!

  9. @Amruta - omg, Air, water, food, internet?! love that! but hate the no of passwords involved!

    @abhishekt - great suggestion. I certainly need to get down to it, but first, need to get over that inane fear of my email being hacked!

  10. You are not alone.

    You will have to develop a strategy for the passwords. Kepp a garbled but vaguely matching passwords for different places. Hopefully, biometrics will come to our rescue someday.

  11. Dear friends!
    Sending you this present with my heart and with that you'll be happy in fullest measure. May the happinest things alway happen to you.

  12. i could totally relate to this post. same problem here. it really IS difficult to keep a track of the accounts, user names, passwords, transaction # etc etc. i usually write it in a diary n then forget the diary :(