Windows Operating System
Windows is an Operating System included in most computers. This platform was developed by Microsoft Corporation. Windows manages the resources of the system and serves as a link between the programs installed and the resources of the system.
Users can choose to place a password on Windows for security purposes. Once a password is used, it is requested whenever the Windows system is booted. Users can set a password, remove it, or change it.
Setting a Windows Password
1. Go to the Control Panel by clicking on the Start button at the Windows toolbar or by pressing the Windows key of the keyboard.
2. Click the User Accounts link. This will open a new window.
3. Choose the user account you want to attach a password to. The account has to be an administrator’s account. If the account is not yet an administrator account, you can change its type.
a. Click the account you want to change.
b. The next window contains a list of options. Choose ‘Change Account Type’.
c. Click the circle beside ‘Computer Administrator’.
4. Click the account you want to place a password on.
5. On the next window, choose the link that says ‘Create a Password’.
6. Type the desired password in the first field. Repeat it on the second field as requested. The third field is a password hint. You can use any word you want which will help you remember. If you forgot your password, this hint will appear on the log-in page.
7. Click the Create Password button to save the changes.
Changing the Windows Password
1. To change the Windows password of any user, you have to be logged into a computer administrator account. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the account that you’ll be changing, as long as it is an administrator’s account.
2. Go to the Control Panel and click the User Accounts link.
3. Choose the User Account you want to change by clicking it.
4. Click the ‘Change Password’ link.
5. Enter your new password on the given field and repeat it on the second one.
6. Place a new password hint.
7. Click the Change Password button to save the changes.
Removing a Windows Password
1. To remove a Windows password for any account, you have to be logged on as a computer administrator.
2. Go to the Control Panel and then choose the User Accounts link.
3. Choose the account you want to remove the password and click it.
4. The window will list a number of options. Click the ‘Remove Password’ link.
5. The next window will give you information on what will happen if you remove the password.
6. If you are sure with your decision, click the button that says ‘Remove Password’.
Microsoft also launched Internet services under the MSN (Microsoft Network) brand. The services include email, instant messaging, and others. It was recently re-branded as Windows Live.
All the Windows Live services are offered free. Users create their own accounts using personal information. The use of the account, as well as the user’s details, is locked in user IDs and passwords.
How to Change Your Windows Live Password
1. Log on to your Windows Live account.
a. Go to any of the online pages for Windows Live Services.
b. You can go either to www.live.com (the search engine), www.msn.com (the home page), or www.hotmail.com.
c. Click on the sign-in link.
d. Type your Windows Live ID including the host name for your email address. Windows Live already offers several options for the host name such as live, msn, and hotmail. Place your current password.
e. Click the Sign In button.
2. Go to your account details page.
a. If you logged in through www.live.com:
i. Click the Windows Live link located at the upper left.
ii. Click the arrow beside your name located at the upper right area. This will show a drop down list with several options.
iii. Click the View your Account option.
b. If you logged in through www.msn.com:
i. Click the link at the upper right to go to Hotmail.
ii. Follow the steps listed below.
c. If you logged in through www.hotmail.com:
i. Click the arrow beside your name located at the upper right area.
ii. On the drop down list, choose the View your Account option.
3. There is a column placed at the right side with the heading Common tasks. Choose the option which says Change your Password.
4. Place your current password in the first field.
5. Place your new password. The password must have at least six characters. It is case-sensitive, meaning you can use a mix of small and large letters.
6. Type your new password again on the next field.
7. You are also given the option to have the new password expire after 72 days. This is a feature reminding users to regularly change their passwords to increase Internet security. When the password expires, users will be asked to use a new password. Mark the box if you want to activate the feature, leave it blank if you don’t.
8. Click the Save button to make the changes.
How to Reset a Forgotten Windows Live Password
1. Go to the log-in page of Windows Live.
2. Click the Forgot Password link placed at the bottom of the fields for the Windows Live ID and password.
3. Type your Windows Live ID in the first field. Make sure you use the complete ID as Windows Live offers several host names for email addresses. This means you have to include the @live.com, @msn.com or @hotmail.com after your username.
4. Look at the distorted characters shown inside a box. This is a security feature that makes sure you are an actual person and not malicious software.
5. Type the characters on the box in the field provided. If you are not sure what the characters are, you can click the speaker button located beside it to have it read out to you. You can also click the reset button placed below the speaker button to get a new set of characters.
6. Click the Continue button.
7. Two options for resetting your password will be provided. You can have the instructions sent to you in an email or you can use your personal information.
a. If you choose to have the instructions sent via email, mark the circle beside the words ‘Send password reset instructions to me in email’.
i. You can have the information sent to the alternate email address you provided when creating the account, which is actually optional. You can also have it sent to the Windows Live email you want to change.
Having the instructions sent to your Windows Live email only works if you have activated the option on the log-in page to remember your identity whenever you log-in. This refers to the two options below the field for the Windows Live ID and password. The two options are ‘Remember me on this computer’ and ‘Remember my password.’ This will allow you to sign in to your account without knowing the password.
ii. Choose the email you want to have the instructions sent to and mark the circle beside your choice.
iii. Click the Continue button to send the email.
iv. Log-in to the email you chose and follow the instructions.
b. If you chose to reset the password using your personal information, mark the circle beside ‘Use my location information and secret answer to verify my identity.
i. Choose the Country/Region you used when you created the account. Depending on the country you chose, you might also be asked to provide your State or region and ZIP code.
ii. You will be asked to answer your secret question. This is chosen from a list provided during registration. It often refers to personal information such as the name of your first pet or your favorite teacher. Enter the answer you gave during registration.
iii. Click on the Continue button.
iv. Place your new password on the first field. The password should be more than 5 characters long. You can also use a combination of letters and numbers.
v. Type your new password again on the second field. It has to be exactly how you typed it in the first field.
vi. There is an option for you to have the password expire in 72 days. This is added for security purposes. Click the box beside the option to activate the feature.
vii. Click the Continue button.
Password Tips for Greater Security
1. Use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and special characters. This makes it harder for people or hacking programs to guess what you used.
2. Refrain from using easily available personal information. This kind of information includes passwords derived from your name, nickname, significant other, birthday, and the like. These kinds of passwords are easy to guess.
3. Use long passwords. Some people who may wish to gain access to your account can use programs which will use combinations of characters to guess your password. Passwords with several characters make them harder to guess.
4. Change your password regularly. Some users may change their passwords after they have encountered a breach in security or after using an unsecured system to open their account. It is also advisable to make changes to the password regularly to prevent any breaches.
5. Do not give your password to anyone.
6. Never repeat passwords.
7. You can use a string of words written as one. This is called a pass phrase and it fulfills the conditions listed in number 3 and number 1. It will seem like a series of characters with no particular meaning since the words are written together. If you choose words which are significant to you, it also makes it easier to remember.