The Quest for Password Prowess – Part 1

The New Frustration

It used to be that we knew nothing more frustrating than getting locked out of our car, then someone invented computer login credentials! I’ll bet we can all relate to the poor fellow in this pre 2000 viral video!

Not only is it an inconvenient time-suck to begin password recovery, it is frankly a little offensive that a machine can have such power over us when we are the boss, not it! It doesn’t feel fair!

None shall pass!

None shall pass!

There can be nothing more frustrating than being told by a hunk of silicone and metal, “None shall pass!” The great news is: like the Black Knight of Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”, password issues can be vanquished albeit with a bit of silliness. You can become the victor in this quest—every time!

I will assume that you have been beat up enough by the Password Beast that you are ready to begin your quest for Password Prowess. But, be forewarned, brave knight. In so much as this is “a quest,” plan on traveling. What I can do, as your wizard friend is provide you with a carefully crafted map and cadre of defenses in the form of great knowledge. Now, let’s begin our journey as many journeys begin, by looking inward.


The Emotional Aspect

Password problems can drive us to tears as we feel a loss of control and a separation from our once friendly and inviting digital friend. It is as if the computer or iPad just got rabies and has viciously turned on us. Sometimes we even feel like it may have been something we did that caused the problem. We can experience feelings of inadequacy or feel stupid for forgetting our own password. In the back of our mind we consider the possibility that the computer is making the mistake, not us. The whole wonderful computer experience, in an instant becomes a nightmare. As the emotional aspects of this issue boil over we may eventually wind up becoming a viral video on YouTube!


Inconvenience Factor

In addition to these very real and emotional aspects of password problems, there is the inconvenience factor. Authentication issues are aggravating because it slows us down, makes us loose our train of thought, blocks our legitimate efforts to use our own computer, kills productivity and just injects unnecessary complications into our already complicated life. We think to ourselves, “This should just work! It should not be this hard. Why does using my computer need to be this complicated? Can’t someone make this easier?” Fair questions for which there are answers. In order to find them, we will need to trod through Password Purgatory. Let me tell you what to expect.


Password Purgatory

Password Purgatory is a deep and wide land that we will explore in a series of articles designed to help you gain your crown of Password Prowess—power no mere mortal ought possess lightly. When we are done, you will have an understanding of the pearls, perils and pitfalls of the process! Here is the map…


  1. The Problem of Passwords
  2. The Purpose of Passwords
  3. The Authentication Process
  4. Password Recovery
  5. Anatomy of a Password
  6. Foolproof Password Storage
  7. Related Security Issues
  8. Password Nirvana

Before we go grabbing a sledgehammer as our preferred tool of access, let’s talk calmly about these little devils called “passwords” and let knowledge, understanding and wisdom be our guides.

We have covered topic one in this article. Next, let’s take a look at the Purpose of Passwords as we continue to look over our map.




5 thoughts on “The Quest for Password Prowess – Part 1

    • That would be great. Perhaps you can instruct us on how to do that and how would benefit us.

    • I agree. There are “groups” with common interests on both Facebook and Google. I do not know how to effectively use them but I will learn because that why we are doing this together.

  1. Hi chaps,

    First just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the article. I only read it because I felt I owed it to you Dana, and have to admit I was expecting to be bored by it; my passwords are all nice and safe in a little notebook which is kept in one of two places so we can always find it, so the subject didn’t seem too relevant to me. But when I read the article I found it so entertaining, I love the way it’s written.

    When I had finished reading and wanted to share on twitter I had to pull out the password book, thumb through to find my twitter password; they are not alphabetically arranged, I just write them in as they are set up. I wonder how much time I have spent thumbing through that book, maybe I stand to learn a thing or two!

    When I view the article on my andriod phone there is a g+ button on the share bar, don’t know why this is different to the laptop but thought i’d mention it.

    All the best, looking forward to seeing you again on 4th,


    • Ed, thank you so much for your comment and participation. You have an great story! Passwords can be in any order if we have a “find” button. We’ll be talking about that one soon! See you in Feb!

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