How an application is kept secure to prevent unauthorized access.

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50
votes
10answers
5k views

Refusing a user permission to click a URL

I've been asked to work on a system message on an intranet where by there are various URLs (linking to lists of content) that have permission rights attached to them, so only certain users have access ...
44
votes
17answers
6k views

Computer login with password only, without username

I have an idea to simplify the login screen on things like home computers with a small number of users (say, 2-10) with passwords. Today, a typical home computer's login screen has three steps: ...
44
votes
10answers
3k views

What is the best way to inspire users to choose strong password?

Most of the users use weak passwords. They may use weak passwords even for services where they store sensitive information. I think it's because they don't believe that their password may be ...
40
votes
10answers
4k views

Is a “Never tell your password to anyone” message in chat really necessary?

In almost every chat window I open, there's this fairly obvious statement: Never tell your [password/credit card/social security/etc] to anyone. Are there some standards for chat functionality that ...
34
votes
5answers
4k views

Does a password strength indicator increase password strength?

Just browsing the internet, I saw a password strength indicator on a sign up, and I realized that I personally didn't care. Does anyone know if, on average, password strength indicators increase the ...
33
votes
10answers
5k views

Is it good idea to send user password upon register?

I can imagine both ways - send / not send and still make it secure enough inside application. For instance: I get the password from "Enter your password" field, store it in email template and then ...
26
votes
5answers
2k views

Should a user be logged in after resetting their password?

Lets assume following flow: I want to log in I don't remember password I click on the "forgot my password" link (email is dispatched) I check my inbox and click on the link I type in password and ...
25
votes
8answers
8k views

How to tell the user his login credentials are incorrect?

When a user has entered incorrect details into a login form, is it better to tell them: The username or password you have entered is invalid. or The user name you have entered is invalid (for ...
25
votes
6answers
1k views

Forcing users to use a particular pattern for passwords

Many websites, specially government ones, enforce users to use a password which conforms to particular criteria. For example: use between 8-13 characters with at-least one integer and one capital ...
24
votes
6answers
3k views

Why do financial institutions use usernames instead of emails for login?

I'm redesigning an application and I'm researching the use of email vs username login options. Our application works with financial institutions and because of this have been told that usernames are ...
17
votes
6answers
796 views

Should validating an email automatically sign someone into an application?

When signing up for a new account with a web application, it is standard to send a validation email. I don't want to go into the pros and cons of the validation email though. When receiving a ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Should I use two steps or one when users change password?

I currently have a page dedicated to changing passwords. There are 2 options: A 2 step option: download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups download bmml ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the padlock icon make users perceive your site as safer?

I was recently in a discussion with one of our developers about the usage of padlock icons (not on the https link) in user interfaces. I remember encountering the icon in lots of different ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

What good is this moving captcha from Apple

A Hacker News article pointed me to http://www.apple.com/itunes/50-billion-app-countdown/entry-form/ where they use moving captchas: I assume that its a way to make shorter (and therefore ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Stop user opening links in a new tab

On a secure site, is it OK to stop users from opening a link in a new tab by signing them out? I have a mobile games web-app and my users can only play one at a time. To avoid issues of them trying ...
11
votes
1answer
598 views

Why does MediaWiki put little padlocks on HTTPS links?

Does anyone know why MediaWiki puts little padlock icons next to HTTPS links? For example, if I put this link in a wiki article: https://twitter.com/harry_wood it would get a little yellow padlock by ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I capture exceptions and present a nice error page to hackers? [closed]

If a hacker is trying to hack, should I present a pretty error page or redirect somewhere instead of a generic/cryptic error? I feel that the hacker knows what they are doing, I know what they are ...
11
votes
4answers
503 views

When is it right to use “Not <user>?”

Sometimes a site shows a message reading: "You are logged in as [user1]. Not [user1]? Please log out." When is it right to use such a thing? Where are we assuming someone is mistakenly logged in as ...
10
votes
5answers
659 views

Does SSL on a company's website make the company appear more credible?

I recently had a thought about the way many modern browsers display information about a site's security certificates. At least Firefox shows a very noticeable blue box in the address bar on sites that ...
10
votes
3answers
820 views

Why did they use two-stage social media sharing buttons?

I recently visited a seemingly fairly reputable web site and was astonished to see their implementation of a two-stage trigger for their social media buttons: (The text appears when you hover over ...
10
votes
2answers
243 views

Why would one limit username format?

Many websites when ask you to create a new "username", will limit you in some way, most often like "username should only contain letters and underscores" or something alike. This results in inability ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Allowing every password of 6+ characters. Good practice?

I am developing a file sharing and hosting service, and right now I don't have any requirements set other then that a password has to be at least 6 characters long. I also accept all characters. I'm ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

How to handle “forgot password” when user has not confirmed email?

If you follow the pattern of allowing users access to your application without having confirmed an email (generally considered good UX), how do handle the case where they forgot their password? Very ...
9
votes
6answers
1k views

Childproof washing machine

My little boy (11 months old) has just discovered how the buttons and dials of the washing machine work. This is inconvenient, because the machine does not react well to random button mashing while ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

Login button - on homepage or separate page?

I ran across an article called Put the login on the front page, where the author wants sites to: [...]put the user name and password box somewhere obvious on the home page like the upper right ...
9
votes
2answers
147 views

Variable Password Requirements Help

Standford University recently published a quick guide to their password requirements: While I quite like this method and this guide is great, I can't think of a nice way to concisely express this ...
9
votes
4answers
209 views

Secure but still usable license key retrieval mechanism?

I just had a very interesting conversation with a support rep of a software product that I love (and which shall remain anonymous here). They use product keys for licensing, and in case the user ...
8
votes
2answers
302 views

how can you improve the appearance of security

What are the different ways to make users (especially paranoid one's like me) feel safe about the security aspect of the site?
8
votes
4answers
400 views

Should “Incorrect password” message show the password requirements of the current site? [duplicate]

I have a question that has been bothering me some time, let me illustrate my question with an example: I use multiple passwords in many applications and sometimes I forget what is the password for ...
8
votes
3answers
802 views

Usability and security for user access and password handling in a web application?

I'm looking at putting together a website aimed at ordinary users that will handle personal data which I don't want to be compromised. How can I make the site secure but also usable? It seems most ...
8
votes
1answer
294 views

During sign ups, how to best instill confidence that email addresses will be safe

Many sign up forms will ask you for an email address so that they can contact you. Even the most minimal sign-up (other than no sign up) will need an email address to send you a validation email. ...
7
votes
5answers
283 views

“Locked” and “secure” icons in one interface

In case of a need to show both "locked" and "secure" icons on one element in an interface (let's say it is one of many tabs in an internet browser, where 'locked' and 'secure' refer to different ...
7
votes
3answers
492 views

Has Captcha become common knowledge?

I am doing a business site for a web company, and was wondering if Captcha has become so well-known, that it no longer needs an explanation ? Right now there is only a input box, the captcha image ...
7
votes
2answers
283 views

How to portray to a user the security of an input field?

I was just tasked by my boss to make a certain SSN field to appear more secure. We currently are masking the first 5 numbers but he wants a greater feel of security behind the input. He was thinking ...
7
votes
3answers
76 views

Accessing secure content

Which of the permutations for accessing secure content do folks prefer? In this instance I'm referring to a saved quote and have usernames, email addresses and quote reference numbers available. ...
7
votes
3answers
168 views

How best to discuss the Heartbleed bug with users while keeping calm but getting action?

There are technical questions everywhere you look about Heartbleed. But none on not scaring the **** out of your users when discussing it, because lets be honest the news does a good job of scaring ...
7
votes
2answers
331 views

Does inline validation at login create a security risk or a perception of one?

When a user types their email address into a login form, I'd like to validate inline whether the email is associated with an account. The idea here is that, in the system in question, a large ...
6
votes
9answers
629 views

Should password be set by users without security check?

I'm guessing if I should let my users choose their password without checking if there's at least 1 $pecial charact€r, 1 CAPLOCK, 1 numb3r... Shouldn't we just ask users to put a minimum of X ...
6
votes
5answers
813 views

Forgotten Passwords - is there a real benefit to asking for memorable password hints on signup?

On several signup forms I see fields such as "Choose your Memorable Password Question". Is this actually benifical nowadays? Surely a more secure method if someone forgets their password is to build a ...
6
votes
3answers
962 views

Login for multiple users

What is the best way to make a login form for multiple users? I'll give you an example for your understanding: If we have three different type of users, for example, teachers, students and ...
6
votes
3answers
232 views

Should an admin decide what users can do, or should he decide what not to do?

Which one is better option for an admin from a usability point of view? Suppose if a system is supposed to authorize a user to have access (and different type of access like read only or read write) ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Should we ask for name on card even though it's not required for credit card payments?

The name on card is not used when processing credit card payments. Paypal does not ask the user to enter the name on card when saving a card to the "wallet", while Amazon.com does. The benefit of ...
6
votes
2answers
453 views

Should we require confirmation before resetting a password?

If a user has forgotten their password for a service, the convention is that they should need only their username and/or registered email address in order to reset their password -- in our case that ...
5
votes
3answers
502 views

Use UAC Shield icon to indicate (non-Windows) elevation will be required?

i am working on financial software where there are many times where a "supervisor" is required to authorize that the user can continue, e.g.: user wants to void a funds transfer user has a variance ...
5
votes
3answers
217 views

Logging in with email only

I'm working on a blog and there will be an option to post a comment. I could implement registration with username, password and email — the standard way. I could implement 3rd-party authorization ...
5
votes
3answers
895 views

Input mask on credit card number & SSN

Our company is discussing the use of an input mask (asterisk) on credit card numbers and social security numbers. I'm completely against masking the CCN, from a UX perspective, especially since our ...
5
votes
2answers
204 views

How can I reassure users about an unfamiliar domain name?

I have a service, example-service.com. I have customers customer-a.com, customer-b.com, etc. We host a service for them on urls like customer-a.example-service.com Users who are familiar with ...
5
votes
2answers
254 views

Password and in place editing

I decided to support in place editing for a simple user table. I am not sure what i should do about password... When i create a new user i can have a textbox to type... When viewing i can hide then ...
5
votes
1answer
369 views

Usable examples, recommended practices for interfaces optimized for using pass-phrases instead of passwords

Reading through What is the best way to inspire users to choose strong password?, I realized I have never used an interface where the primary login password system would use pass-phrases (and where ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

What is the benefit of fixed security questions?

Many sites/services seem to make use of a security question as a way of accessing an account if you lose your password or email access. As an example, Facebook uses this form: There isn't a ...