Computer Security

What is a password?

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Wiki User
2013-12-18 20:53:07

A password is a word (or group of characters) that you use to

access your account (or whatever) that can only be used by you.

Your password should be a secret from everyone and you should make

every attempt to keep anyone from knowing it.

A password is a secret word or string of characters that is used

for authentication, to prove identity or gain access to a resource

(Example: An access code is a type of password). The password must

be kept secret from those not allowed access.

The use of passwords is known to be ancient. Sentries would

challenge those wishing to enter an area or approaching it to

supply a password or watchword. Sentries would only allow a person

or group to pass if they knew the password. In modern times, user

names and passwords are commonly used by people during a log in

process that controls access to protected computer operating

systems, mobile phones, cable TV decoders, automated teller

machines (ATMs), etc. A typical computer user may require passwords

for many purposes: logging in to computer accounts, retrieving

e-mail from servers, accessing programs, databases, networks, web

sites, and even reading the morning newspaper online.

Despite the name, there is no need for passwords to be actual

words; indeed passwords which are not actual words may be harder to

guess, a desirable property. Some passwords are formed from

multiple words and may more accurately be called a passphrase. The

term passcode is sometimes used when the secret information is

purely numeric, such as the personal identification number (PIN)

commonly used for ATM access. Passwords are generally short enough

to be easily memorized and typed.

For the purposes of more compellingly authenticating the

identity of one computing device to another, passwords have

significant disadvantages (they may be stolen, spoofed, forgotten,

etc.) over authentications systems relying on cryptographic

protocols which are more difficult to circumvent. The word itself

holds the meaning..I mean the word which is meant to pass or

otherwise the word which is used to authenticate the person, who

using the system or network .

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