OpenID

An OpenID is a way of identifying yourself no matter which web site you visit. It’s like a driver’s license for the entire Internet. But, it’s even more than that because you can (if you want) associate information with your OpenID like your name and your e-mail address, and thenyou choose how much web sites get to see about you. This means that web sites that take advantage of OpenID won’t bother you for the same information over and over again.

Faster and easier to sign in

OpenID also simplifies signing in. With OpenID you only have to remember one username and one password. That’s because you log into websites with your OpenID, so your OpenID is the only thing you have to make secure. Now, you might already use one username and one password online, but OpenID lets you do this in a secure way. That’s because you only give your password to your OpenID provider, and then your provider tells the websites you’re visiting that you are who you say you are. No website other than your provider ever sees your password, so you don’t have to worry about an insecure website compromising your identity.

A man is weighed down with seven heads, each one labeled with a different username of his.  A man wearing an OpenID sweatshirt stands tall and excited.  He says 'hi' to the hydra-man.Remembering all those usernames can really weigh you down!

Closer to a unified “web identity”

The logos of some of the larger companies getting behind OpenID: Microsoft, Aol, Livejournal, Orange, Plaxo, Bloglines, Six Apart, Sun Microsystems, Technorati, and WordPress.Lots of companies are getting behind OpenID.Because OpenID identifies you uniquely across the Internet, it is a way for web sites and other people to connect the different accounts you’ve created online into a more cohesive persona. Once you establish yourself as the person who uses a particular OpenID, whenever someone sees your OpenID in use, anywhere on the Internet, they’ll know that it’s you. Similarly, if you happen upon a new web site and see that someone with your friend’s OpenID has made a comment, you can be almost certain that it was actually her and not somebody who, by coincidence, has the same name.

That said, you might be worried that OpenID is going to make all of your activities online transparent. Your OpenID does unify information about you, but it only unifies information that you’ve already made public. And, you get to choose, using OpenID, which information to spread and to whom.

Is OpenID secure?

OpenID is no less (or more) secure than what you use right now. It’s true that if someone gets your OpenID’s username and password, they can usurp your online identity. But, that’s already possible. Most websites offer a service to e-mail you your password (or a new password) if you’ve forgotten it, which means that if someone breaks into your e-mail account, they can do just as much as they can if they get your OpenID’s username and password. They can test websites with which they think you have an account and ask for a forgotten password. Similarly, if someone gains access to your OpenID, they can scour the Internet for places they think you have accounts and log in as you… but nothing else.

Regardless of whether you use OpenID or not, you should be careful about your username and password.When you type your username and password, make sure you’re actually on the website you think you are (i.e., check the address).

Aren’t I entrusting my whole identity to one website?

Yes and no. You can, if you like, have multiple OpenIDs, each of which has some information about you. (In fact, many websites let you associate multiple OpenIDs with the same account.) But, that ruins the simplicity of only having one username and password. That’s why it’s smart to get your OpenID from a website you trust, and one that you expect to stick around. See How do I get an OpenID? for more information on choosing a good OpenID provider.

OpenID…

… is proof of identity

It is a way to prove you are who you say you are

… is not a trust system

It cannot guarantee you aren’t a jerk– or a spammer, or a robot, or…

… is used for signing up and logging in

You use OpenID to log into websites without making completely new accounts.

… is not Big Brother

It doesn’t keep track of what you do on those websites; that is still controlled by the websites.

… is different

It does take some getting used to.

… is not complicated

As you get used to it, it gets easier and easier.

… is secure

You only entrust your password to one website, as opposed to all websites.

… is not the only answer

All of the tips you’ve learned for staying secure online still apply. Make sure to choose an OpenID Provider you trust!

… is a step towards a cohesive Identity

It can help connect your online identity. People can be sure who you are across multiple sites.

… is not the end of privacy

You can choose when you use it and how you use it.

… is taking over the world

There are over 27,000 OpenID enabled sites, and the number is growing.

… is not an elephant

OpenID is not an elephant.

 

Surprise! You may already have an OpenID.

If you use any of the following services, you already have your own OpenID. Below are instructions on how to sign in with each of the following providers on an OpenID enabled website. (When you see bold text, you should replace it with your own username or screenname on that service.)

Google

Look for the “Sign in with a Google Account” button or use your Google Profile URL.

Yahoo

Look for the “Sign in with Yahoo” button.

Yahoo! Japan

Look for the “Yahoo! JAPAN IDでログイン” button.

LiveJournal

Enter “username.livejournal.com”

Hyves

Click the “Sign in with Hyves” button.

Blogger

Enter your blog URL: “blogname.blogspot.com”

Flickr

Look for the “Sign in with Yahoo” button or use your photostream URL

Orange

Click the “Sign in with Orange” button or enter “orange.fr”

mixi

mixi is a web service that allows users to communicate with their friends and acquaintances.

MySpace

Look for the “Login with MySpaceID” button or enter “www.myspace.com/username

Wordpress

Enter your WordPress.com URL, for example: “username.wordpress.com”

AOL

Look for a “Sign in with AOL” button or enter “openid.aol.com/screenname

Other Well Known & Simple Providers

In addition, there are several dedicated OpenID providers that are generally recommended by various members of the community. While not a comprehensive list, each of these providers offers a free and secure OpenID to use across the web.

Chi.mp

Chi.mp allows you to create your own social hub on an OpenID domain you own and control.

ClaimID

ClaimID is an easy way to manage your online identity with OpenID.

myID.net

myID.net is an OpenID provider with support for groups and the Korean language.

myOpenID

myOpenID is the first standalone provider for both individuals and businesses, with secure multi-factor authentication.

Verisign

VeriSign’s Personal Identity Provider is an OpenID provider with support for multi-factor authentication.

Your Internet ID

Your Internet ID

lets you build a social identity to use on the web.

SOURCE : http://openidexplained.com/  and http://openid.net/get-an-openid/

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