Why we don't like special purpose accounts

Here is a (partial) list of reasons special purpose accounts are a bad idea unless you really need to use one.

Here are some reasons they are bad for the system/systems administrators:

  • They are more work to set up.
  • They cost more to maintain.
  • They are usually only used for a limited time, but nobody ever tells us they are done with them.
  • Several users must know the same password which is bad for security of the system.
  • If someone who has access to the account leaves the college the password must be changed.

Here are some reasons they are bad for the users:

  • You need to check another e-mail account.
  • You need to remember another password.
  • You need to learn a new password everytime someone who knows the password leaves the college.
  • If two people try to access the account at the same time, there may be "unexepected results."