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Password or PIN?

Do you know the difference between a password and a PIN? We sometimes don’t make use of that skill we learned back in the first grade – reading – and enter a PIN when a password is required or a password when a PIN is required. It’s because we mistakenly use the terms interchangeably or just don’t bother to read carefully.

For the most part, this should be a trivial matter. But when users log on to a computer and make the mistake several times, they get locked out. It’s typically a problem with office computers, and it becomes an issue to gain access. So, here’s a quick review of the sign-in process for Microsoft Windows. You’ll need to sign in when you start or restart a Windows-based computer (reboot).

When the startup routine finishes, you will be on the lock screen, which sometimes has some really nice pictures. You will get a new screen with a sign-in dialogue box when you click anywhere on the screen.

Inside that dialogue box, you will see what you need to enter to access the computer’s data and apps. If it’s blank, you’ll see three sign-in options below the box:

  • Key – which is the icon for entering a password.
  • Dialpad – which is the icon for entering a PIN.
  • Face – which is the icon for facial recognition.

Select your option and enter the appropriate info or follow your process to facial recognition. PINs are usually the easiest access code to remember and use, and facial recognition adds a layer of security. Passwords can be the next-to-last resort to gain access to a computer; typically, you can use the password tied to the Microsoft account as the password for the computer.

If you are a business owner or network administrator, we can help you set up a secure system to access computers as needed. If all else fails, your last resort is to call us – 973-433-6676 – to walk you through the steps to gain access. Call us or email us for an appointment.