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password
access code
authentication
key
log on
security

A secret series of characters that enables a user to access a file, computer, or program. On multi-user systems, each user must enter his or her password before the computer will respond to commands. The password helps ensure that unauthorized users do not access the computer. In addition, data files and programs may require a password.

Ideally, the password should be something that nobody could guess. In practice, most people choose a password that is easy to remember, such as their name or their initials. This is one reason it is relatively easy to break into most computer systems.



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More Information

  Security / Password Settings
Describes how to set security passwords to control access to the system at boot time and/or when entering the BIOS setup program. This page is from "The PC Guide". Updated on Apr 19, 1998

  UNIX Password Security
Discusses password security for UNIX-based systems. It is published by the Academic Computer Services at California Polytechnic State University. Updated on May 28, 1998

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