A registered user is a person who has registered an account with a company or organization in order to get access to restricted areas or special services. This can include anyone from the party registered as the owner of an operating system to a registered user at a newspaper site who has access to articles and other content while logged in to the site. User registration allows companies to control data access, collect information about users, and target products and services at specific members of their demographics.
To register an account, it is usually necessary to provide some basic biographical data like name, location, and contact information. Some users may need to offer more information; a registered user of a software product, for example, needs the product code to verify that the software was actually purchased. Some registered users also need to create passwords to secure their access.
Operating systems, software, and equipment may require user registration before they will work. The company restricts such registration to people authorized to use the equipment or software because they have purchased a license to do so. It is possible to have multiple registered users on one license, and to control access between users. On an office network, for instance, an individual employee is a registered user, while a system administrator is also registered and has a higher degree of access.
Online, user registration is often used to keep track of members and control content. It may be necessary to be a registered user to see some materials, add comments, and engage in other activities. The user registration process can vary from site to site, and some allow users to carry over registrations from other sites. For example, a person with a social networking account could log in to a newspaper with that identity to leave a comment.
It is possible to undo a registration. Users may be able to cancel their registrations, or a technician can change permissions or remove a user from the system. If there are security concerns about a given user, the person's account may be left in place with a flag to warn information technology staff that the user is a potential issue.
On a website, for example, a username associated with abusive activity may be suspended rather than deleted. This can eliminate the possibility that another user could take up the name when the system releases it after a deletion. Suspension rather than deletion can also allow users to return if they change their mind about canceling their registration.