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Choosing A Strong Password

Why It's Important

Passwords are one of our first lines of defense for us when we use the internet. Unfortunately, often times the passwords we choose are also our weakest defense. To make it easier for us, we often choose a password that is too easy to remember. These easy to remember passwords are usually easy for others to guess or break.

What You Can Do About It

A strong password should:

  • Be eight or more characters in length.
  • Not be a Name or a Word from the dictionary.
  • Have one or more Upper case letters.
  • Have one or more lower case letters.
  • Have one or more digits (numbers).
  • Have one or more other printable characters or symbols (~!@#$%^&*).

Never ever give your password to anyone else and, never let anyone else use your computer account. Consider changing your password at least once a semester.

There are tricks you can use to come up with a strong password that is still easy to remember. For example, think of a favorite line from a movie or poem then, pick the first letter from each word, and capitalize every other letter. You could also combine two short words together; capitalize one word but not the other. Be sure to include some digits (numbers) and other special characters in your password.

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