PINs and pinpricks

PINs and pinpricks

Two decades ago, my only bank account number was easy to remember. Then, software stepped in and the friendly bank teller offered the use their ATM services. I seized the chance of being able to withdraw money without waiting in a queue, and armed with ATM-cum-debit card and a simple Personal Identification Number (PIN), felt liberated.
Another officer said that they had a special credit card scheme for women which offered a lifetime exemption of an annual fee. Not to lose the opportunity, I immediately signed up for one. After all, memorising two PINs wasn’t going to be difficult.

Subsequently the trouble started. Every company I joined wanted employees to have a corporate account in a certain bank. I suddenly found myself saddled with four accounts, their ATM cards and corresponding PINs, two credit cards and their PINs. Worse, internet banking threw in a couple of TINs for a good measure.
Wellwishers told me not to have identical PIN/TINs. Mnemonics, they said, could help one remember all those miserable numbers.  
The internet also invaded my life. With one personal e-mail account accessed through a crazily clever password, I was smug in the knowledge of having a safe and quick mode of communication.

However, at office a suitably sober passwords had to be assigned for the mail account as well as documents that higher authorities deemed important. At one point, I had to remember up to ten passwords. Mnemonics, the system administrator advised, would enable correct associations.

Years later, having decided to tie the knot, I shifted ny house, my bank account and even the place I was working. In keeping with the new life, I changed my e-mail password to ‘scavenger’, a topic that had caught my interest at that time. When our son arrived, the happy father offered to mail my friends the news.

Later, he conveyed his inability to sign in even after several attempts. He also denied having left the ‘Capslock’ on, so I checked if s-c-a-v-e-n-g-e-r had been spelled right. Then he sheepishly mumbled that he had been keying in h-y-e-n-a all the while. Mnemonics, needless to say, doesn’t always help.

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