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SUMMARY - Account names vs. numbers


SUMMARY - Account names vs. numbers

The majority of the respondents (2/3) used accountnames which were
identifiable (letters based on first and last name either with or
without an id-nr). About 1/3 had anonymous acountnames (ie: numbers).

Initials/Names: 10
Most of them shared my concerns
Numbers: 4
Replies from those that used an anonymous login
- we put the id's in the communication guide/address book
- eventually you will know the id's you see the most by head (!)
- the windows loginname is not the same as the Intralink login

Other Considerations
Login names often have to start with a letter.
For Single Sign On you might want to keep the accountnames the same
accross applications and OS.
Login names with id-nrs are harder to guess and therefor more secure.

The problems mainly arise where you get database information about
locked objects, history infomation, etc.
e.g. "Document is Locked by usr12345" or "Version created by usr12345"
But also at the OS level: "to whom belongs the folder C:\Document and
Settings\usr12345" and "File is in use by usr12345".

The fact that you eventually will know the id's of most people by head
(replied by 2 of the users with anonymous login numbers) tells me it's
worth going to a more descriptive accountname. You don't want your
organization to start memorizing a few hundred numbers out of their

The great advantage with a mixed approach (e.g. adding id-nr's to
names/initials): They are always unique and still descriptive.

Thanks for the replies.

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5-Regular Member

Good morning Olaf,

This (anonymous number) scheme seems like something cooked up in the IT or
Audit department. It should be fairly easy to have unique logins based on
first.middleinitial.last names.lots of companies do. The unusual situations
can be handled individually (ie, Olaf.T.Corten or Olaf.Tiberius.Corten if
multiple initial only usernames exist) instead of making the entire company
suffer being assigned an anonymous id (this seems like a step back into the
60's or 70's).

Any concerns about security should be handled by the password complexity
enforcement.for Pete's sake, you'll never remember "e9851257" so you are
going to write it down on a Post-it note. How secure is that?

Better late than never,

Gavin B. Rumble, PE

Solid Engineering