Protecting Your Password

When you login to Chebucto, the system asks you for three pieces of information. These are:
  1. Your login name - always a letter-letter-number-number-number combination
  2. Your password - the subject of this article
  3. Your terminal type - which should match the terminal emulation type you told your software before connecting

How we use this information?

In a slightly different order, the terminal type tells us what special characters (escape codes) to send to your computer so that your screen formats properly. Since this is connect session specific information we ask it all the time, but you can set your own default by using the shortcut command [g terminal].

You login name is how the Internet knows who you are. It is publicly available information, readable from the password file along with your real name. If you know enough about Unix, which is the operating system that runs Chebucto's Sun Sparc 20, you can find users on any system that you have a login account. My sites, like ours, also make this information available to all users of the Internet.

Your password is a secret exchange of information between you and the Unix operating system. It is stored encrypted so that not even I can find out what it is. The choice of password is up to you, but the system itself won't let you pick one that is "guessable" - based on many years of Internet experience. The way some users pick a password is available from the Chebucto Help Desk.

Why be careful with your password?

Many people claim that they can't remember their password reliably, so they write it down close to their computer or tell a friend. Others are not very concerned about security, don't have anything "important" and couldn't care less about who knows what they are doing. Unfortunately, being exposed to "hackers" is the minor side effect, not the big risk.

Once your login name and password are entered, Chebucto reports to the world you are who you say you are. We have verified it with the registration and you have signed the Chebucto User Agreement. Everything that happens thereafter is in your name. If mail is sent out or a news posting is made, it is in your name. If the Internet gets 'spammed' or 'mail bombed', you did it.

With the increased commercialization of the Internet, products can be ordered. I hope they didn't get a look at your charge card, too!

We have also received some requests from families to share an account. Metro*CAN policy is that it is one user per account. We have good reasons.

We believe Chebucto is here to stay.
We hope that you will continue to be part of the Chebucto Community and maintain contact with the rest of the community for a long time.
Every person is a unique individual.
Interests change over time and any user on Chebucto should have access to the same resources as everybody else. Each user should be able to have their own bookmarks, signature file, etc.
Every person should have a place where they can speak to the world.
With Chebucto, a login account provides that opportunity with the public_html sub-directory of each account.

Chebucto Monthly Statistics.


Chebucto Connections OPERATIONS REPORT
is written by Gerard MacNeil, P.Eng. Operations Manager, CCN
who is happy to receive Questions. Comments or Suggestions.
If your browser does not support mail, write to Gerard later at aa030@ccn·cs·dal·ca.

Last Month: September 1995 Next Month: November 1995