Generic Accounts

The usage agreement for this website prohibits the use of generic accounts. These are accounts that fail to identify the person using the account. The accounts will often have the name of your organization or words like "administrator".

Why are Generic Accounts Prohibited?

Many of our users are unsophisticated users. They may engage in unsafe computing practices and we feel an obligation to promote safe practices. In addition, the use of generic accounts confuse the ownership of information and obliterate an audit trail.

  1. Generic accounts are often created so that an administrative account can be shared between people. This would mean sharing passwords. While you may trust the people you share the passwords with, this practice is likely to make you more susceptible to providing a password to an untrustworthy person. People often use the same password in many contexts, so a shared password could provide access to other accounts.
  2. Generic accounts are not needed for administration or judging. Assign roles to the people that should be allowed to alter your website. Any number of people can use the same role. Remote judges should use their own accounts and do not need to be members of your organization.
  3. Generic accounts are not needed to create galleries of images from your members. You can easily create a gallery that allows submissions from other members. Administrators can also create a gallery and upload images, identifying the proper user as each image is uploaded. This process will properly identify the owner of each image.
  4. Submitting images and information to a website implies ownership. We attach copyright notices to images to identify the owner. The use of a generic account implies that the images might be owned by an organization instead of the individual, which would normally be inaccurate. We want to ensure that the true owners of images retain control over their property.
  5. All changes to information on the website is identified by the person making the change. This audit trail is important if you discover that information is missing or damaged.
  6. When you submit a support request you should use the Help menu and the support request page. You should do this while logged into the website so that you are properly identified along with your organization. If you use a generic account we do not know who you are.

If we notice the use of a generic account we will flag that account. This will display a warning message for 30 days before the account is disabled. We do this to discourage the use of generic accounts for the reasons stated above.

If you feel you have a need for a generic account and you can see no way to avoid its use, please contact us using the Help menu for a support request.

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