Guidelines for Choosing and Effective Password
An easily guessed password offers little real protection. A good password is one that is easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess or crack (even by a person or machine that is willing to devote a great deal of time).
Do Not Use:
- any part of your name or the name of someone or something significant to you.
- significant numbers such as telephone numbers, social security numbers, license plates, or birth dates.
- words (correctly spelled) found in an English or foreign language dictionary or other widely available written works.
- simple patterns like "qwerty" or "asdflkjh".
- famous people, characters, titles, landmarks, etc.
- other items or "favorites" easily associated with you.
- simple modifications of the above (such as prepending or appending a single character or spelling it backwards).
These guidelines may appear to eliminate too many of your "best possibilities," but choosing a secure password is actually quite easy. In fact, an initially bad password can often be made much more secure by:
- embedding more than one extra character.
- incorporating digits, punctuation characters, or control characters in addition to letters.
- intentionally misspelling a word.
- intermixing capital and lowercase letters or using unusual capitalization (capitalizing each vowel, however, is not unusual).
- combining two or more parts of words.
- creating a meaningful acronym.
A good password is easy to remember, easy to type quickly, not obvious, and not easily guessed by others. A good password is like a lock--make sure yours is strong enough to protect our valuable computing resources.
If you need further assistance, please contact the IT HelpDesk (x3830, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)