Freenode IRC – Information
If you are using a software client it is recommended that you use SSL and connect via SASL . Information can be found here Please see screenshot below for illustration.
You will need to have registered your nickname (username) before hand, once done you can set the client to connect via SASL. Please see the Knowledge base
If you are going to be on IRC on a regular basis you may want to autojoin channels. (not that being IDs is a prerequisite for some channels) You can do this by right clicking on the channel list and select autojoin.