Creating a Password
The important goals in choosing a password are (1) choosing something that you can remember and (2) choosing something that meets all the password requirements. Following are some suggestions for coming up with a good password:
- Join two small words with a numeral; use uppercase and lowercase
letters. For example:
- Combine first letters from a phrase or quote; be sure to include
uppercase letters, lowercase letters, and numerals. Lines from poems
or songs work well. For example, take the line "Lucy in the sky
with diamonds" and turn it into
L1tS!wDm. (You can use numerals for letters that resemble them, such as the numeral 1 for the letter i, or the numeral 5 for the letter s.)
- Extract vowels or consonants from words in a phrase, and mix in
some nonalphabetic characters if necessary. For example, take the
phrase "Bond, James Bond" and turn it into
Bnd,jAm5b. Or take the phrase "New and Improved" and turn it into
- Create funny words by linking one or two consonants followed by
one or two vowels and repeating the pattern. As always, mix in some
numeric characters. These often are difficult to pronounce and may
have little meaning, but they're easier to remember than random text.
Protecting Your Passwords
- Use passwords that are difficult to guess.
- Change your passwords at least once a year. (For your NetID password, this is required.)
- Memorize your passwords instead of writing them down.
- Never share your passwords with anyone. Sharing your password is
against the University's Information Technology Policies and could
result in loss of access to campus computing resources.
Note: Nobody should ever ask for your password. Nobody. Not CITES staff, not the Help Desk, not even the University Police. If anyone requests your password, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Whenever a computer or program gives you the option to have it save your password for you, do not select this option. Having the computer or program save your password for you is almost the same as sharing your password with anyone who has access to that computer or program.