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You have a choice of two account types in Windows 8. One is a local account, with a username and password, just like Windows 7 and earlier versions. New in Windows 8 is the Microsoft account option.
The advantage of a Microsoft account is that your sign-in credentials are connected to a secure service that allows you to sync settings between PCs.
You can switch between account types at any time by going to PC Settings, selecting the Users tab, and then clicking or tapping the button under your account name.
If you chose a Microsoft account, these options on the Sync your settings tab are enabled by default. (If you use a local account, you can't sync settings - sorry.)
In all, there are 12 separate options shown here, and all are enabled. You might want to disable some of these options. For example, you might want the background on your desktop PC to be different from the background on your notebook, so that you can tell at a glance which is which if you're using a remote connection. In that case, move the Desktop personalization slider to the left (Off) position.
From PC Settings, click Users to manage your account. When you do, you'll see three options under the Sign-in options heading.
If your desktop computer is in a secure location where you're not worried about intruders, consider adding a PIN as an alternative sign-in option. The PIN is a four-digit number, and it exists as an option alongside your (strong) password.
The PIN is used only for unlocking your PC locally. For remote access to shared resources, you still need to provide a password.