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Choosing a Good Password

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 Learn how to create a strong and secure password that you CAN remember!

 



About Passwords

Password authentication is part our daily lives. To maintain security, create a strong and secure password. Choosing a strong password is not hard and is something everyone can do. Creating a strong password means using between six and sixteen characters, with a mix of upper and lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols. Strong passwords, that you create, should be an easy to remember and hard for others to guess. Never write down your password, instead memorize it.

Password Do's & Don'ts

Password Do's:

  • Do memorize your password.
  • Do use a password with mixed upper and lower case alphabetics.
  • Do use a password with non-alphabetic characters (digits, punctuation, and numbers), avoid having the number near the end of the word, embed it somewhere in the middle.
  • Do use a password with a combination of both mixed-case and non-alphabetic characters.
  • Do use a password that is easy enough to remember, so that you don't have to write it down.
  • Do use a password that you can type quickly, without looking at the keyboard. This makes it harder for your password to be determined by someone looking over your shoulder.

Password Don'ts:

  • Don't write down your password.
  • Don't use passwords with less than six characters.
  • Don't use your name (first, middle, or last in any form).
  • Don't use your login name.
  • Don't use anyone's name.
  • Don't use words that can be found in any US or foreign language dictionary, spelling lists, or other word lists.
  • Don't use names of places/locations.
  • Don't use any names of your family members, friends, or pets.
  • Don't use other information about yourself (phone/extension number, room number).
  • Don't use anyone's birthdate.
  • Don't use simple patterns of letters on the keyboard, like "qwerty" or "asdfgh"
  • Don't use all the same letters.
  • Don't use passwords with anything listed above backwards.

Types of Passwords

Pseudo-random password:

An easy-to-remember password, which is based on a pass-phrase that is important to you, the user. This phrase can be a set of words taken from a book, a song, a quotation, a statement, or anything else that you always easily remember. This phrase should be easy for you, but no one else should ever think about attributing it to you.

Some examples:

Pass-phrase: "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers..."
Password: "Fs&7yAoF"
The result: Derived by choosing the first letter from each word, using a mixed case of letters, adding a non-alphabetic character and number where possible.

Pass-phrase: "Born to be wild"
Password: "Bo2oBeWi"
The result: Derived by choosing the first two letters from each word, changing the "to" a "2o" and using a mixed case of letters.

Pass-phrase: "To be or not to be, that is the question"
Password: "2BoN2btiT?"
The result: Derived by choosing the first letter from each word, changing the "to" to "2" the "question" to a "?" (question mark), and using a mix case of letters.

Combination passwords:

An easy to remember password, which is based on a combination of two unrelated words with a mixed case of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Some examples:

Pass-words: "funny bone"
Password: "phnyb0ne"
The result: Derived by combining the two words funny and bone, changing "funny" to "phny" and substituting the "o" with a "0" (zero).

Pass-words: "published policy"
Password: "pubp0l"
The result: Derived by combining the first three letters of the two words and substituting the "o" with a "0" (zero).

Good Practice

Maintain the security of your password:

  • Do not write down your password; remember it.
  • Practice entering in your password, so you can type it in quickly and without looking.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 June 2009 13:36 )