A Note on Usernames, Passwords, and Profiles

Comments

(Henry)

Think this belong in GDPR/Privacy bit, but also needs updating


This document discusses what to include in your profile within the XRUK online services, what makes a good username, and how to choose a password.

In all three of the XRUK services -- UKCloud, UKForum, and Mattermost Chat -- users have a profile that stores their personal information. You can edit some items in your profile, and some of them will be visible to other members. The three key pieces of information in your profile are your username, password and e-mail address.

If you join the new services by responding to an invitation from the UKHub you will automatically start with the same username and password on all three services. Your account on each of them will be tied to the same email address that received the invitation.

Initial Setup

On UKForum and UKCloud you cannot change your username once your account is created so it is important that you choose a good one. If you already have an account on XR Global Mattermost and you want to use a different username or password, then you must change it on your Mattermost Account Settings before accepting an invitation from the hub. The email address already on Mattermost must match the one in your invitation, so if necessary change that on Mattermost before starting as well.

If you want to use a different email address to the one at which you were sent the invitation, then request a new invitation with the correct address from your Tech.Champion.

When you accept an invitation to first join the new services an account will be created for you on each of the three with the same username, password and email.

Usernames

XR is an open, above ground, organisation so you should always be prepared to own your own activity and put your real full name in your user profile where others can see it, and use your firstname and initials as a username.

Usernames must be unique in each system, so although you are encouraged to use a username that is recognisably related to your real name rather than something that conceals your identity, this may not always be possible.

As an aside, the global Mattermost which we share, covers some countries where there may be substantial personal risks to being identifiable -- so you may well meet some fellow rebels there who are hiding their identities for reasons of personal safety.

There is a minimum length requirement of 6 characters for usernames. They must consist of lowercase alphabetic characters and digits only. Beyond that the longer you make it the more typing you, and others contacting you, will have to do, and the more of a mess it will look on screen.

Passwords

When it comes to choosing a password, choose something which you can remember -- e.g. the initial letters of a phrase or line from a song that will stick with you, with some letters transposed to digit (o->0, I -> 1, to->2 etc) and a couple of uppercase and punctuation characters. The minimum length for a password is 8 chars and it should include both upper and lower case letters plus at least one digit and one symbol.

Do check that it is easy to type on all the keyboards you use -- mobile phones can make it a pain having to switch case, or switch between letters and digits, so you might want to have those grouped together in the password.

Don't rely on your device (or the cloud) remembering it for you -- there will come a day when you will need to actually type it because something has gone wrong.

Finally try to pick a password that you don't use elsewhere -- even if only by appending -xr to one of your standard passwords -- that will ensure that if your bank login gets stolen your XRUK ones are still ok and vice versa.

Profiles

On all the services, you can set up a profile including your Full Name and a small picture called an 'avatar' which helps to visually identify you to other users.

Always add your full real name to your profile, and maybe a bit of information about which part of the country you are in -- city or county at least.

By default, your avatar will consist of your initial or initials on a coloured disc. Even if there are lots users with the initials JS they will get different coloured discs to make them unique.

These work ok, but you can easily find a suitable picture (of yourself or something else) to represent you, and upload that in your profile. It will be resized and cropped to a circular shape. When choosing a picture go for something simple and well defined -- avatars are shown quite small on some pages and your beautiful picture may become a plain brown blob when reduced.

Using the same avatar picture across all services provides a very quick and easy visualidentification for other users to recognise you as the same person.

Although your profile includes your email address this is not shown to other users (apart from system admins). If you want to make your email and phone number available to fellow rebels, then include them in the text of your profile.

Conclusions

More information on the specific things you can adjust in your profile settings (and where to find them) are in subsequent documents.

They key takeaways are:

  • choose a username that helps rebels identify you when you meet them in real life

  • use a password that you will be able to remember even after months of letting it be filled in automatically as a line of blobs

  • fill in your full name and your roles in XR on your profiles

  • upload a picture to use as an avatar so people recognise you visually on the services.