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Nielsen Recommends Not Masking Passwords 849

Mark writes "Usability expert and columnist Jakob Nielsen wants to abolish password masking: 'Usability suffers when users type in passwords and the only feedback they get is a row of bullets. Typically, masking passwords doesn't even increase security, but it does cost you business due to login failures.' I've never been impressed by the argument that 'I can't think why we need this (standard) security measure, so let's drop it.' It usually indicates a lack of imagination of the speaker. But in this case, does usability outweigh security?"

"I've finally learned what `upward compatible' means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes." -- Dennie van Tassel