Saturday, July 23, 2011

Logon and password

It could certainly be said that we live with an oversupply of communication devices.  Further, individual devices tend to get more capabilities and features over time as the manufacturers try to make their products more valuable.  Phones are computers and computers are phones, tv and can still actually compute.  TV can show the computer interface, the view seen on a computer screen. One device becomes others.

Over time, it has become more and more important that we be able to quickly (if possible) verify that we are indeed the person we are "supposed  to be", the actual owner of the account or machine, the intended user and not a thief or hacker.  So, we have the practice of using a name, often a user name rather than our legal familiar name, and a password.  Legal names have several problems including the one that there may be other people who have exactly the same name I have.  Besides, it is fun to give myself a new name just for use with the machine so I may be "Green Rabbit" or "Tiger Tongue4".  

Many sites now require that the logon or user name be an email address.  It is also common to have three conditions for an acceptable password: it must be 8 or more characters, it must contain both small and capital letters and it must contain a number or special character.  Advice on making a secure or "strong" password sometimes states that a good procedure is to write out a sentence and take the first letter of each word in the sentence for the set of characters to be used as the password.  It is always advised to avoid character sets that are actual words in use such as "Mother" or "Password".

Of course, more and more services and offers and supposedly free newsletters and special deal notifications want a more personal relationship with each contact person.  Some of those will be naturally attractive or of interest to any given individual.  Such a person can accumulate a very large number of logon names and passwords.  A large number of them can be difficult to keep track of and there are a number of ways to deal with that proliferation, although none seem to be entirely satisfactory.

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