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Healthy Passwords

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What is OpenID

OpenID is a login (authentication) protocol. The primary building block of OpenID is a secure website for each user. When a site wishes to authenticate you from their website, you simply login to your own website using a secure session and your credentials. Your website exchanges keys with your browser (internet explorer, firefox, chrome, safari, etc), and any website supporting OpenID can authenticate you after you've logged into your website.

The proof that you are you is by proving you can access your own website. There are standards one must follow to create the website. While it's posible to create your own website, most people will simply use an OpenID provider to handle the website creation. If you already have a google or Yahoo account, you already have an OpenID website.

The idea of OpenID is you login to your open ID site in our browser and any site you've established an OpenID relationship will automatically log you in if they can access your OpenID site. If every site supported OpenID, users would only use a password to login once per day.

As promising as OpenID sounds, it’s adoption rate has been slow. A site can only be a provider or consumer of OpenID credentials. Many large sites, such as PIP, Google and Yahoo have chosen to be providers rather than consumers. That means that if a user creates an OpenID on one, they can’t use OpenID to login to another OpenID provider site.

Some consumer sites like Facebook have chosen to implement it in strange ways. For Facebook, you need to go into your profile and link your OpenID with Facebook. Facebook then uses browser cookies to login a user when they go to the Facebook login page. Different browsers behave differently with their cookies resulting in people who can never get OpenID working with Facebook. Because of the many issues around OpenId, PIP added one-click sign-on.

McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

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