Logins to Blackboard change for security concerns, ease of use

Kathleen Cunningham

Logging into Blackboard has changed for the spring 2005 semester.

Instead of using one’s social security number to log in, students now must use the Novell user names and passwords they would use to check their Southern e-mail account.

Betty Baker, instructional technologies/internet courses division of Lifelong Learning, said using the social security number as a user name is “extremely insecure.”

“Anything going on the Internet has [the] possibility of someone seeing it to log on,” Baker said.

“We wanted to get away from that. It was pretty much a necessity.”

The reason for the change is due to only having to remember one user name and password instead of three.

“When they have to only remember one user name and password, it makes it more user friendly,” Baker said.

Dr. Jack Spurlin, vice president for Lifelong Learning, said remembering one login is easier.

“It makes sense for the students,” he said.

Spurlin believes this is “a good, positive change.”

Some students find the change to Blackboard to be less confusing when it comes to logging on.

“[It is] very intuitive,” said Joel Thomas, senior music major.

Thomas said he could see where logging in can become confusing for students. He also said he could see where it would make sense.

“Your login to [the] computers and Blackboard are the same,” he said.

Elizabeth Drake, freshman biology major, said she did not know about the change.

“I was trying to get into my class,” Drake said, “and it wouldn’t let me. It was just aggravating.”

She said it was better “you don’t have to remember two passwords.”

On the other hand, Rikki McClullough, senior physics and computational math major, said the change to Blackboard “makes it one less thing to remember.”

“You just have to know what you are doing if you are logging onto Blackboard or e-mail,” McClullough said.

But, she also said having the same user name and password to log on to everything is less secure.

“People tell you not to put your same password on everything,” she said.

“If people got your user name and password, they may be able to find your social security number. Your social security number is linked to everything.”

McClullough said she hopes there are no changes to logging onto Lion Link because it contains the financial information and grades.

“You’d want it to remain secure,” she said.