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Who used The First Password ?

Updated on September 13, 2012

My password ********


password is a secret word or a string of characters used to prove identity or gain access to a resource. The password should be kept secret and not be shared with others. Passwords are also known as user names, passphrases, passcodes, watchwords.

The use of passwords is known to be ancient. Guards would challenge strangers wishing to enter an area to supply a password or watchword. They would only permit a person or group to pass if they knew the password. To enter into the King’s Palace, a newbie must show an identification mark or a keyword already supplied to the guards. A password may be in the form of an invitation. A computer user may require password for logging in to a computer account. Nowadays mobile phones, electronic appliances, many devices demand passwords for access. The four- digits Personal Identification Number (PIN) is commonly used for ATM access. But who used the first password?

First passwords

One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age (750 AD to the 16th century). In this classic collection, there is a folk tale titled ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’. In this story, Ali Baba is an honest man, married to a poor  woman. He is a wood cutter. His elder brother Cassim marries a wealthy woman and becomes well-to-do. One day Ali Baba is cutting firewood in the forest, and he happens to watch a group of forty thieves visiting their treasure store from a hidden place. The treasure is in a cave and the opening gate is sealed by magic words. It opens on the words "Open Sesame", and closes itself on the words "Close Sesame". When the thieves leave the place, Ali Baba enters the cave himself using the password, and takes some of the treasure home. And the story goes on .. Perhaps ‘Open Sesame’ may be the first passwords used by human beings. Am I right? It is believed that watchwords were used among soldiers in Roman military. A password and a counterpassword were used in the opening days of the Battle of Normandy.

Passwords need not be actual words. There are risks involved in using passwords. You may forget after assigning it first time, someone may steal it from the place you put it or even you do not know how to keep it safely.  Passwords are supposed to be easy to remember but very hard to guess. To give more strength to your password, coin a password using a mixture of uppercase, lowercase letters and digits.

Tips for using ‘strong’ passwords

  • · Change the password periodically
  • · Increase the size of the password
  • · Assign randomly chosen characters to form password
  • · Try other passwords as spoken password, biometric password, etc.,
  • · Never write down a password on any place unkept securely
  • · Memorize the passwords
  • · Generate a sequence of passwords. Use one at a time for a period.
  •    Design your own mechanism to coin a password


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    • Rubanraj profile image

      Rubanraj 6 years ago from South India

      Nice suggestion. Thank you, Mo~sin.

    • profile image

      Mohsin 6 years ago

      very nice post. I suggest another idea. U can use "alt codes" to make passwords. Press alt and random numbers(4 digit). It will generate its equivalent ASCII symbol. U can refer the codes in an application "Character Map" the code will be in the right bottom corner. U can even design private characters and assign codes... but thats more complex :D