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A user profile is a collection of settings and information associated with a user. It can be defined as the explicit digital representation of the identity of the user with respect to the operating environment, which could be operating systems, software applications or websites. The user profile helps in associating characteristics with a user and helps in ascertaining the interactive behavior of the user along with preferences.
A user profile can contain personal data. Most user profiles have a set of parameters which are either mandatory or optional. In some cases, the user profile could have different sections and tabs. In the case of software applications or network-related ones, user profiles are usually monitored and maintained by administrators. In some cases, they are maintained by the users themselves. The user profile enables the personalization of the system and can help in customizing certain features for his/her needs. Preferences and needs of a user can usually be found with the help of a user profile.
User profiles have information for most attributes like system needs, general data, restrictions and application settings. It can help in specifying the terms for certain features in the system such as profile visibility, layout view, color themes, preferred languages, date format and message display format. User profiles can be created, modified and deleted.
Most user profiles have a user description like account details, user details and password-related information. In most cases, the user profile helps in providing additional security to users. Users can create authentication measures with the help of different features in the user profile, like a secret question or password. A user profile can also help in password recovery or creation of a new password for users in most applications.