Things To Act
Sunday, February 13, 2005
More Clerkish Notes
- This is a rather interesting unofficial MLS FAQ.
- MLS (the new Church computer financial and membership system) now requires each user of the ward's computer to have a username and password. This means that the ward clerk (me, for example) has to set up accounts for each person who will be using the computer. Most people do not want another unique username and password to remember. Especially people (like, for example, the Young Men's president in a ward with only five young men) who will, realistically, use the system once every few months, if that, but who need access just in case. And some level of security is necessary, since some membership (temple recommend expiration dates, for example, if said dates are in the past) and most financial (tithing) information is obviously sensitive. So telling someone his username is "YM1Counselor" and his password is "YM1Counselor" is not a good idea, especially since he can see that your username is "15thWardClerk".
- This brings up the wider problem, noticed by many who spend time online, of how to choose usernames and passwords for the many websites or email accounts that require them. The weakest part of any security system is almost always the people using it (in the cryptography talks I've attended, "almost" is omitted), since it's a rare soul who does well at coming up with multiple passwords that are eight characters long, contain at least one number, and are easily rememberable. And even if you do, you then have to register for a site where your favorite username is already taken, or where the passwords have to contain punctuation or have to be even longer. So you have to remember which username goes with which password. And you can't just write them all down on a sticky note on your monitor at work. And if you always use the same password, guessing it once will let someone access your life in too many places. If there's a good way to deal with all of this, then whoever thought of it is probably keeping his mouth shut, since talking about it would make it that much easier to guess his passwords.
- Once the new system was up and running, I gave the Relief Society a new ward list. Three days later, I was given a list of fifteen or twenty changes to make in membership information. I felt like they had done more to clean up the ward list in a weekend than I had done in a month.
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