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Recently I answered a question where the password was sent to the users email in plain text. Technically this means the password is stored in two ways,

  1. Plain Text - which was sent to the user (the worst case)
  2. Encrypted text - which was decrypted and sent to the user (the best case)

Both of them are insecure, no arguments there. A company rep has told the user that the password is not stored in plain text. So I assumed the best case scenario in my answer that it is stored as encrypted text. I never said this was secure, the only thing that changed was the order of steps to be taken where I prioritized stoping email communication of passwords before hashing.

The answer received some highly up voted comments that I am wrong to blindly trust the rep. But is it right for us to blindly distrust the company rep?

Now to my actual question,

Should all the answers be written for the worst case scenarios (for ensuring max security or something)? Am I wrong to assume the best case scenario for my answer?

  • But is it right for us to blindly distrust the company rep? yes – forest Apr 7 at 5:10
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I think the problem is that you state a clear assertion at the beginning without qualification. You appear to make a conclusion that really isn't backed up by anything. Only further down do you state your assumptions.

But then your answer really doesn't say anything different than the accepted answer, which was posted several hours before yours.

So, with such a clear statement at the top that seems like you are claiming a fact or stating a logical conclusion, I can see why people might downvote for the reason "not helpful".

Your answer might be improved by editing the first line to add some qualifiers and by being clearer on who your answer is materially different from the accepted answer.

  • 1
    Thank you for your suggestions. Made the changes. Aside from this particular answer, In general Is it okay to write an answer for the best case scenario only? Or is it bad from a security point of view? – Kolappan Nathan Mar 28 at 9:05
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    The benefit to the StackExchange format is that although the goal is to be able to have a single acceptable answer, it is also valid to have multiple answers from different viewpoints. The important part of that is to be clear about what perspective you are taking. So, sure, take a best or worst-case perspective, but be clear about your assumptions and the perspective you are taking. – schroeder Mar 28 at 9:25

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