What is a user?

We explain what a user is, what are the types of users that can be found and what role each one plays on the Internet.

  1. What is a user?

In computer science and Web culture, a user is understood as a set of permissions and resources assigned to an operator as part of a computer network , and it can be a person, a computer program or a computer .

This user concept differs from the traditional one contemplated in dictionaries, since for the latter a user is “someone who uses something”, while users in Web 2.0 play a very active role in the production of content and other activities that require A high level of participation.

Thus, when it is desired to refer specifically to human individuals behind a computer or system, it is better to refer to them as  subjects  or  citizens .

In many cases, users are referred to refer to user accounts, that is, to personalized and / or individual configurations that  have access to the functions of a computer system . It should be noted, however, that the same human user can manage several user accounts, or none (if not registered in the system).

In that sense we can talk about the following types of computer user:

  • Users  registered . These are those users endowed with a user account and who live regularly on the network , either as consumers or producers of information, or both figures intermittently.
  • Users  anonymous . Those who surf the Internet without making their presence manifest through registrations, formalizations or accounts assigned to a user, but remain unidentified. It usually has fewer privileges than the registered user.
  • Trolls . This category includes users of forums and social networks whose presence in these social fields is problematic or abusive: they incite hatred, verbally aggravate others and make the experience less pleasant.
  • Beta – testers . These are test users, that is, they use software experimentally or in development, in order to take note of their weaknesses or evaluate their operation, etc.
  • Hackers . Those users endowed with deep knowledge of computer science and who are able to sabotage or alter code segments of Web programs to benefit from it in different ways.

Other classifications of possible users are based on the level of expertise in the management of the network or the computer system, and that is usually reduced to: beginners (or  newbies ), intermediates and experts (or  pros ).

However, any classification of users will always be partial and, at most, temporary.

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