Password (Definition)

An authentication mechanism in which a secret series of characters is used to assist in the authentication of the assertion that a person has a right to use a particular User-ID, and consequently enables a user to access a file, computer or program. The effectiveness of the technique depends upon the assumption that the password is known only by the appropriate entity (and, in less secure schemes, also by the system conducting the authentication). If a password is disclosed or shared, accountability is compromised. Synonyms/similar concepts are Passphrase, Personal Identification Number (PIN).


Last Reviewed: 09 January 2018