Passwords are an important aspect of computer security. They are the front line of protection for user accounts. Poorly chosen passwords may put you at risk. To minimize risk, take the appropriate steps, as outlined below, to select and secure your passwords:
- Never share your password with anyone.
- Change your password immediately if you think it may have been compromised.
- Choose a password that can be remembered without writing it down. Do not store your password in hard copy (e.g., on a post-it note) or electronically unless appropriately secured.
- Choose a password that you can type quickly, without looking at the keyboard. This makes it harder for someone to steal your password by looking over your shoulder.
Choose a password that is difficult to guess and that is not associated with you. DO NOT use the following:
- Words found in a dictionary
- Proper names including your name, names of family members, or pets.
- A telephone number, social security number, license plate number, or birth date.
- Include a phrase, or string several words together (e.g., ThreeYoungMen) with numbers or special characters.
- Combine punctuation and numbers with a regular word (e.g., 3'sCompany).
- Create acronyms from words in a song, a poem or another known sequence of words.
Passwords should contain at least one (1) character from three of the four following categories:
- Upper case letters (A, B, C, … Z).
- Lower case letters (a, b, c, … z).
- Numbers (0 thru 9).
- Non-alphanumeric characters allowed by the system (e.g., :!@#$%^&*?/">!@#$%^&*?/).
Additionally, passwords MUST:
- NOT be identical to your user ID, regardless of upper/lower case.
- NOT contain the user ID in the password, regardless of case.
- Be a minimum of eight (8) characters in length.