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I'm building an opensourced social network that will be an alternative to Facebook and others. Where I'm now stuck at is building the fastest login system possible (including a fast registration too). What are some of your ideas? I've thought about something like this Secure Quick Reliable Login.

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I'm not sure what you're looking for here - username and password are pretty simple (2 fields), your browser can remember them if you want faster log in. Your site can keep the user signed on the reduce log ins; you can use a single sign-on provider (like OpenAuth or Facebook) as well. I would say "logging in" is already a pretty streamlined practice. –  Joshua Barron Jan 24 at 19:31
    
I see your point. The problem are 2: 1.If you choose a difficult password (better security in case of brute force attack for ex.) you are prone to forget it, and someone may steal your email and thus your password through "reset your password". 2. If you log in from another computer you have to retype the password again. Thus the ideal would be to not type any password at all, at least. –  tekbash Jan 24 at 20:24
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3 Answers 3

OpenID

http://openid.net/developers/

OpenID is a decentralized authentication protocol that makes it easy for people to sign up and access web accounts.

Participate and join one of these active OpenID Work Groups

  • Account Chooser Work Group
  • Backplane Protocol Work Group
  • Connect Work Group

OpenID plugins and modules are available for several platforms

  • Drupal
  • WordPress
  • PHP Library
  • Ruby Library
  • Movable Type
  • Other Developer Libraries

You can find the latest code in our repository; and we recommend reading the specifications to get started.

OpenID relies on a volunteer community of coders and developers to maintain the libraries, test and keep them bug free and secure, add features and explore new extensions to the protocol.

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The most hassle free login action for a user would be to not register the user on your site, but use login services already available. Login via Facebook, Twitter, Foursqure, Disqus, Linked In, Google, Live ID or any other login service would, from your users perspective, use the least amount of cognitive load (no hassle).

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It would be fastest to develop too, as it wouldn't consume developing time - just configuration time.

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Whenever contemplating security, I always remind myself Security is the Inverse of Convenience1 and you're working towards convenient while keeping some security.

I like the openId answer and opened the question to suggest that. You can research leaving cookies in your members' browser. You'll need a token scheme so the cookie itself has no value or method to be reverse engineered. You can keep the token with the member's preferences and also have different settings for security like "Trusted computer", "work", "public" etc.

1Sorry I don't know the source of the quote "Security is the Inverse of Convenience", though I think I read it in Kevin Mitnick's book 'Social Engineering'.

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Totally disagree with that quote. If you implement security mechanisms that will be a hassle for end-users, they will find ways to override your security mechanisms. E.g. Writing passwords on a post-it. Counter-example: HTTPS is transparent for end users, so they are using security mechanisms without having to do anything differently –  jff Jan 26 at 17:57
    
@jff somewhere, somehow, someone has to put in effort. And ultimately, convenience will cause insecurity. Example: thenextweb.com/socialmedia/2014/01/29/… So while you disagree with my "catch-all" saying, I say that you're making excuses. Work through it; think like the user. If your user wants to be an idiot, well, you can't fix stupid. –  Chris K Jan 29 at 11:26
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