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A Simple Guide to Single Sign-On. by Bradley Nice, Content Manager at… | by Bradley

Single Sign-On (SSO) is something that we hear every now and then. I suppose we all use it very often. It is really annoying to create new credentials every time you start using a new service or platform. How many logins and passwords should we remember? A lot. Literally. Some people try to create a file with all the passwords they use. Other people use the same password for all the accounts. But none of the methods is safe enough. I suppose you understand why. And here comes SSO.

It is a tool that is based on federated identity management and helps you authorize in many other services. You create just one set of credentials and smoothly use other websites that require identification. But at the same time, SSO does not reveal the user`s password to the third party services. SSO is closely connected with the notions of authentication and authorization. Authentication is the identification of the user. Authorization has to do with the access restrictions for the user. The system checks whether the user has restrictions that do not allow them to log in.

The obvious benefits are:

Security — trustworthy servers will keep your data safe. There is nothing to worry about. For website owners, it is a benefit as well: you do not have to store all those passwords.

Convenience — you do not have to remember all those credentials. Just one login and password. Again for website owners, it is an opportunity to attract more users — it is easy for them to log in and start working right away.

Speed — you save time on all those registration procedures. That is a benefit for all parties.

The main problem that SSO may cause is that if you lose access to it, you will lose your access to all the services you usually use. That might be a disaster. One should be careful about that.

Today social networks offer SSO services (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). They use social media authentication credentials for you to log in to another service. But there are other SSO vendors: Okta, OneLogin, AuthO, Rippling, etc. To say nothing about Apple’s SSO. So, everyone will find the best option =)

SSO is something that will be here for a long time as it manages a huge number of users in a massive system of services, tools, applications, websites. That is a great solution for both parties: companies and clients.

Have a nice day!

Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp.com — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors

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