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Choosing a strong password

Strategies to create strong, memorable passwords

  • Think of several random words that are at least 4 characters long.
  • String the random words into a small sentence like "Desk happy computer".
  • Add hyphens or underscores between words if spaces are not allowed.
  • Notice the capital and period at the end. Along with the spaces and length this makes for a strong and memorable password.

Characteristics of a strong password

  • Is at least 8 characters long. The longer a password is, the harder it is to guess. A big part of password strength is length.
  • Contains at least three of the following: number, lowercase alphabet, uppercase alphabet, special character.
  • Changes at least every 6 months.

Characteristics of a weak password

Hackers look for and can easily crack passwords with these characteristics:

  • Contains your login name
  • Contains a single dictionary word
  • Contains a single dictionary word backwards
  • Contains a single dictionary word with a number at the beginning or end.
  • Uses names or proper names or media characters that mean something to you or that you've used in secret questions.
  • Uses information easily obtained about you:  phone number, license number, address, place of work, college, etc...
  • Uses a birthdate.
  • Uses only numbers.
  • Uses sequences or repeated characters. Examples: "12345678", "222222", "abcdefg", or "asdfjkl;"
  • Uses only look-alike substitutions of numbers or symbols.  "MIcr0$0ft", "P@ssw0rd"
  • Is repeated for many different accounts.

Keep your password secret

  • Do not place your password on sticky note under the keyboard (or elsewhere).
  • Never provide your password over email or based on an e-mail request.
  • Change your passwords at least once a semester.
  • Do not type your password on computers that you do not control (trust).
  • Only enter your password into secure sites and authentic sites.
  • Use secure password managers such as KeePass, KeePassX or LastPass.

Details

Article ID: 22896
Created
Thu 1/12/17 10:54 AM
Modified
Mon 1/23/17 4:23 PM