Like the invention of the fire pit, the history of the first password is lost to the depths of time. We know that Romans used them. Shakespeare mentioned passwords in The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Probably, they’re a few millennia older than that.
Since ancient times, we’ve known that passwords must be kept secret; they must be made hard to guess; and they must be regularly changed in case of compromise. And there is a single reason for all of that precaution: security. A recent leak of 360 million MySpace accounts means that many people will soon know all too well why reusing passwords is a bad idea.
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