Passwords are the first line of defense against hackers and malicious users trying to access your accounts and systems so here are some good practices that will help you avoid some common mistakes. If you require assistance implementing IT system configurations please refer to our IT Services homepage for more information.
Create Strong Passwords or Passphrases
- Use at least 10 symbols, including numbers, both uppercase and lowercase letters, and special symbols.
- Even better, use passphrases consisting of a minimum of 15 symbols using letters and numbers.
Avoid these common mistakes when creating a password:
- Very easy-to-guess passwords, like “password”
- A string of numbers or letters like “1234” or “abcd”, or simple patterns of letters on the keyboard, like “asdfg”
- Your name, or the name of people in your life
- Your phone number or your license plate number, anybody’s birth date, or other information easily obtained about you (e.g., your address, hometown or schools you attend or graduated from)
- Words that can be found in the dictionary
- Passwords that are all the same letter like “AAAAAAAAAAAAAA”
- Default provided passwords, even if they seem strong
- Any of the above with a single digit added like “password1“
Take Steps to Protect your password.
- It is important to remember your password without needing to write it down, so pick a strong password or passphrase that you can easily remember. If you use a lot of passwords, you can try a password management app or tool(Like Lass Pass), but you must choose a very strong master password and keep it safe.
- Please note that passwords that are sent securely across the Internet. URLs (web addresses) that begin with “https://” rather than “http://” are more likely to be secure for use of your password.
- If you think that someone else may know your current password, change it right away.
- Change your password periodically, (every 90 days for a strong password, every 180 days for a passphrase) even if it hasn’t been compromised.
- Don’t type your password where anyone could see or watch you.
- Avoid using the same password for multiple websites or systems.