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Logging in or logging on, signing in, or signing on) is the process by which a individual gains access to a computer system by identifying and authenticating themselves. The user credentials are typically some form of "username" and a matching "password", and these credentials themselves are sometimes referred to as a login (or a logon or a sign-in or a sign-on). In practice, modern secure systems often require a second factor such as email or SMS confirmation for extra security.

When access is no longer needed, the user can log our (log off, sign out or sign off). Alternatively, the user can stop the access to the system by closing the user account, by re-logging in or by ending a session,

Safe, simple, secure is an online industry phrase that describes a website and other services that are securely created and managed. While the phrase is typically said to be in the context of online banking, it can apply to any online presence.

When you access a website that is secure, you are only giving your credentials to that site and there is no possibility that this site could be hacked. A website is also considered secure when it is designed, but without security measures in place that would allow your information to be stolen or accidentally exposed. This security posture must be in place to ensure that a website will remain secure, and the people who manage it will make sure it is.

This site is 100% secure.

Your password is very important to us. It's pretty much the most important component of our site. We store it securely on an encrypted server and only you have the power to unlock it.

How does it work?

On this site you need to enter a password before you can even access certain sections of the site. If you forget your password, click here to reset your password.

How do I know I'm being typed correctly?

We give you good advice about how to type it right. This site has multiple sections which should be completed with your correct character type. If you don't have that information, click here for help.

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Authentication (from Greek: αὐθεντικός authentikos, "real, genuine", from αὐθέντης authentes, "author") is the act of proving an assertion, such as the identity of a computer system user. In contrast with identification, the act of indicating a person or thing's identity, authentication is the process of verifying that identity. It might involve validating personal identity documents, verifying the authenticity of a website with a digital certificate,[1] determining the age of an artifact by carbon dating, or ensuring that a product or document is not counterfeit.

Authentication is relevant to multiple fields. In art, antiques and anthropology, a common problem is verifying that a given artifact was produced by a certain person or in a certain place or period of history. In computer science, verifying a user's identity is often required to allow access to confidential data or systems.[2]

Authentication can be considered to be of three types:

The first type of authentication is accepting proof of identity given by a credible person who has first-hand evidence that the identity is genuine. When authentication is required of art or physical objects, this proof could be a friend, family member or colleague attesting to the item's provenance, perhaps by having witnessed the item in its creator's possession. With autographed sports memorabilia, this could involve someone attesting that they witnessed the object being signed. A vendor selling branded items implies authenticity, while he or she may not have evidence that every step in the supply chain was authenticated. Centralized authority-based trust relationships back most secure internet communication through known public certificate authorities; decentralized peer-based trust, also known as a web of trust, is used for personal services such as email or files (pretty good privacy, GNU Privacy Guard) and trust is established by known individuals signing each other's cryptographic key at Key signing parties, for instance.

The second type of authentication is comparing the attributes of the object itself to what is known about objects of that origin. For example, an art expert might look for similarities in the style of painting, check the location and form of a signature, or compare the object to an old photograph. An archaeologist, on the other hand, might use carbon dating to verify the age of an artifact, do a chemical and spectroscopic analysis of the materials used, or compare the style of construction or decoration to other artifacts of similar origin. The physics of sound and light, and comparison with a known physical environment, can be used to examine the authenticity of audio recordings, photographs, or videos. Documents can be verified as being created on ink or paper readily available at the time of the item's implied creation.

Attribute comparison may be vulnerable to forgery. In general, it relies on the facts that creating a forgery indistinguishable from a genuine artifact requires expert knowledge, that mistakes are easily made, and that the amount of effort required to do so is considerably greater than the amount of profit that can be gained from the forgery.

In art and antiques, certificates are of great importance for authenticating an object of interest and value. Certificates can, however, also be forged, and the authentication of these poses a problem. For instance, the son of Han van Meegeren, the well-known art-forger, forged the work of his father and provided a certificate for its provenance as well; see the article Jacques van Meegeren.

Criminal and civil penalties for fraud, forgery, and counterfeiting can reduce the incentive for falsification, depending on the risk of getting caught.

Currency and other financial instruments commonly use this second type of authentication method. Bills, coins, and cheques incorporate hard-to-duplicate physical features, such as fine printing or engraving, distinctive feel, watermarks, and holographic imagery, which are easy for trained receivers to verify.

The third type of authentication relies on documentation or other external affirmations. In criminal courts, the rules of evidence often require establishing the chain of custody of evidence presented. This can be accomplished through a written evidence log, or by testimony from the police detectives and forensics staff that handled it. Some antiques are accompanied by certificates attesting to their authenticity. Signed sports memorabilia is usually accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. These external records have their own problems of forgery and perjury, and are also vulnerable to being separated from the artifact and lost.

In computer science, a user can be given access to secure systems based on user credentials that imply authenticity. A network administrator can give a user a password, or provide the user with a key card or other access device to allow system access. In this case, authenticity is implied but not guaranteed.

Consumer goods such as pharmaceuticals, perfume, fashion clothing can use all three forms of authentication to prevent counterfeit goods from taking advantage of a popular brand's reputation (damaging the brand owner's sales and reputation). As mentioned above, having an item for sale in a reputable store implicitly attests to it being genuine, the first type of authentication. The second type of authentication might involve comparing the quality and craftsmanship of an item, such as an expensive handbag, to genuine articles. The third type of authentication could be the presence of a trademark on the item, which is a legally protected marking, or any other identifying feature which aids consumers in the identification of genuine brand-name goods. With software, companies have taken great steps to protect from counterfeiters, including adding holograms, security rings, security threads and color shifting ink.