Identity chaos (sometimes called password chaos) is a situation in which users have multiple identities and passwords across a variety of networks, applications, computers and/or computing devices. To further complicate matters, each of the user's passwords may be subject to different rules, allow access at different security levels, and expire on different dates. Such a situation can lead to security risks. Because people have to remember so many different passwords, they may choose very simple ones and change them infrequently. A frequent tactic for remembering passwords -- affixing them to your computer on a sticky note -- is even worse. Security experts suggest that a password should be an unpredictable and reasonably long string of mixed numbers and letters, which makes it harder to crack. Unfortunately, such a password is also harder for the user to remember, especially if it is one of many. According to some reports, calls to resolve password issues often overburden help desk resources.
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Identity management methods and software are being developed to automate and simplify password and identity-related administrative tasks. Self-service password reset products allow users to resolve password issues without calling a help desk. Password synchronization allows users to access resources across networked computers and computing devices with a single password. A variation called single signon also enables synchronization across applications.