The default method of authentication for BSCW servers is the standard ‘basic authentication’ scheme of most Web browsers using user name and password. This method of authentication is comparatively insecure: when BSCW server traffic is intercepted, user name and password may be revealed to third parties.
The situation can be improved by encrypting the BSCW server traffic. Indeed, your BSCW server may be operated using HTTPS (a combination of HTTP and a cryptographic transport protocol) for communication between your browser and the BSCW server. Ask your administrator about this possibility if not already in operation (in this case your BSCW server address starts with https:// instead of with http://).
Your BSCW server may also be configured to allow for other methods of authentication, most notably methods that can be used across a variety of Web services without the necessity to memorize different user names and passwords for each service or even to authenticate again and again when switching services (so-called single sign-on). Alternative methods of authentication available for your BSCW server are offered to you on the same page that is shown when logging into BSCW.
An example of an alternative way of authentication is using OpenID identifiers. Whenever you see the OpenID icon on the login page, you may log into your BSCW server entering your OpenID identifier (a URL). You may obtain an OpenID identifier from one of the many OpenID providers. After having entered your OpenID identifier, you will be asked by your OpenID provider to authenticate yourself. After that you are logged into BSCW. The main advantage of this method is that you can use your same OpenID identifier on all OpenID-enabled websites. More details are to be found at http://openid.net/.