Easy Web Design, 3rd Edition
  EWD Projects :: Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Posting a Web Site within an Hour (or so)

Chapter 7: Posting a Web Site within an Hour (or so)

Obtaining Your Microsoft .NET Passport

Universally, free blogging services and online communities require you to join their sites. Joining usually involves completing an online form that seals your membership. Becoming a member serves a number of purposes, including providing security options that control who can access your blog, creating your Web address, and configuring other custom settings. To use MSN Spaces, you must sign up for a .NET Passport. As you’ll see in a moment, obtaining a passport doesn’t require you to divulge any savings account numbers, credit card PIN passwords, or other sensitive information. In fact, the process is fairly innocuous.

If you own a free Hotmail e-mail account (available at www.hotmail.com), you can use your Hotmail information as your .NET Passport. If you don’t have a Hotmail account, you’ll need to obtain a .NET Passport. Here’s how:

1.      Click the Microsoft Passport Network link on the MSN Spaces home page (spaces.msn.com), or visit www.passport.com.

2.      Read through the information provided on the Microsoft Passport Network page, and then scroll to the Sign Up Today area. Decide whether you want to sign up for a new Hotmail account (this process is more involved than using your own e-mail address) or create a passport using your existing e-mail address (we recommend this approach), and then click the corresponding Get Started Now link. You’ll see a blank Create Credentials form, similar to the one shown in the figure.

The Passport registration form, containing e-mail address and password information

3.      To complete the Create Credentials form, you must first enter your e-mail address in the standard username@domainname.abc format (for example, mm@creationguide.com). Keep in mind that you must enter a legitimate e-mail address before Microsoft will grant you .NET Passport privileges.

4.      In the Password field, enter a strong password. A strong password is from 7 to 16 characters long (even though you can use a 6 character password) and uses uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, and symbols. For example, 100%Safe is considered a strong password, although we don’t recommend that you use that password since it’s now published online! The Password Strength meter on the Create Credentials form indicates whether your password is Weak (red), Medium (orange), or Strong (green). The password entered in the preceding figure is rated Strong.

5.      After you specify an easy-to-remember yet strong password, retype it in the Retype Password box.

6.      Even though you probably just chose a password that’s easy to remember, Microsoft provides a question-and-answer backup system to compensate for human nature—after all, everyone knows the feeling of forgetting a name immediately after an introduction or wandering around a parking lot before recalling where you parked the car. Select a question in the Question drop-down list, and then type your secret answer. If you forget your password, you can answer the question to gain permission to reset your password.

7.      At this point, you’ll see a picture containing oddly shaped characters. All you need to do is type the characters you see in the picture. This step ensures that you are a real person and not an automated program trying to sign up for a Passport account. In most cases, automated programs cannot differentiate the letters and numbers in the picture.

8.      Click Continue.

9.      Review and then print the agreements, enter your e-mail address in the text box, click I Accept, and then click Continue.

10.  Last, open your e-mail application and check for new messages. You should receive two e-mail messages. One is a welcome letter from Microsoft Passport. The other message is a confirmation message. Open the confirmation message, and click the link in the message to confirm your new Passport account.

Congratulations! You’re now officially registered and signed in as a Microsoft .NET Passport holder. Most importantly, you’re ready to create your own MSN Space.

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