Passwords allow you to enter something. They are secret and clever codes. The best passwords have a personal meaning to you. A good password is also one that another person can’t easily imitate or steal.
That describes what you need to register on an Internet site today, right?
But passwords have been around for thousands of years!
Imagine going to a new website that promises games, stories, activities, amazing animal facts, and homework help. It’s a site that your parents have approved. It looks like fun, and you could use the homework help. Because of the games and interactive pieces, though, the site requires you to create a username and password.Here are a few tips for signing on safely:Username:
- Don’t use your own name. It’s best not to share any personal information such as your first or last name, street name, school name, or zip code.
- Think of a fun, crazy, or descriptive name. It could relate to your favorite pasta—wagon wheels or bow ties. Or your favorite color—sienna or slate. Or a favorite activity—badminton or trampolining.
Password: Be extra creative here.
- You don’t want something others can guess. You shouldn’t even use a word you can find in the dictionary or a date such as June 2008.
- The best passwords include both letters and numbers and are at least eight characters long. Make a chart for yourself where you substitute a number for every letter of the alphabet. You can refer to this each time you want to create a password for a new site. Or use a number that resembles a letter, like 5 for S. Or substitute a number for a word, like 4 = for or 2 = to.
Navajo Code Talkers
During World War II every side tried to eavesdrop on their enemies to find out what the other troops were up to. So most communicated in a special code. But it was hard to find a code that your enemy could not figure out. Thanks to some special people, though, the United States found a way to talk to its troops and allies (friends) using the radio without fear of anyone who might listen in. We call these special people the Navajo Code Talkers. The size and complexity of their unwritten Navajo language made their codes impossible for anyone else to figure out, and they could pass important information much faster than anyone else could. They are credited with saving countless lives and helping the war to end much more quickly. (See navajocodetalkers.org.)
Imagine you are living in Rome during the first century. Nero is the emperor. He doesn’t like the new teachings about Jesus that are spreading in his city. He threatens to find and kill anyone who follows Jesus.
You are sincere in your faith. You know who Jesus was and what he did for you. But everyone has to be careful in these times. Perhaps you knock on the door of another believer and ask to come in. How does this person know you are a believer and not a soldier of Nero playing a trick? The other Christian may ask you a few questions—questions that have only one correct answer, an answer that is like a password.
The early Christians used questions and password answers like this:
Do you believe in God?
I believe in God, the Father Almighty.
Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
I believe in Jesus Christ,
the son of God.
Believers also used these questions and answers when they got baptized. They wanted to be very sure their answers were correct. Some teachers said Jesus was just a man and not also the Son of God. So your answers at baptism had to show you understood the true Jesus. The answers were your passwords of entry into the full body of believers.
By the sixth century these words developed into a longer explanation of faith that believers called a creed. We often say it in church today. Can you guess what it is?
It’s called the Apostles’ Creed!
Can You Say Shibboleth?
It was Old Testament times. The people of God were at war: Gilead vs. Ephraim. The Gileadites captured an important crossing point along the Jordan River. They didn’t want to let anyone from Ephraim cross, but how could they tell who was from Gilead and who was from Ephraim? Easy! Whenever anyone wanted to cross, the Gileadites asked that person to say “Shibboleth” [SHI-bo-leth]. That word was easy for people of Gilead to say. But people from Ephraim pronounced it “Sibboleth”! (See Judges 12:6.)
The following will link you to the best Christian sites on the web for kids. Some have you log in and set up a username and password. Others you can just look at. http://www.christiankidstop100.com
Enjoyed this article?
Don’t miss this week’s must-read articles:
- Feature: Tending God’s Creation
- Exposing Harassment of OSJ Raises Questions, Hope for Humility
- Book Review: Something’s Not Right