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Information Technology
Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

Password Guidelines

Techniques for creating strong passwords

A strong password is difficult for others to determine by guessing or by using automated programs.

  • Use a password manager such as Keepass to generate a strong password.
  • Merge two or more words, and combine the words with numbers and symbols. For example: Walk[The]Dog, Po#48tato, Champions=1995
  • Abbreviate a phrase you’ll remember. It could include numbers and symbols, or words that you can substitute with numbers or symbols. For example: I rode my bike 7 miles last Sunday could become Irmb7mlS.
  • Use punctuation and numbers to combine the initials of people or objects from a familiar group, such as your favorite athletes, friends, movies, books, or historical figures. For example: Gandhi, George Washington, and King Henry could become 1G,2GW,KH.
  • Drop all vowels from a favorite saying, and then add numbers or symbols. For example: Walked four dogs could become Wlkd4Dgs.
  • Use a full phrase or sentence that includes punctuation: I played Ultimate Frisbee at ASU. (include the period at the end of the sentence)

Password requirements

  • Your password can not contain your first or last name or your user name.
  • Your password must be at least 8 characters in length.
  • Your password must contain at least 3 out of the 4 following items:
    • Uppercase letters (A-Z)
    • Lowercase letters (a-z)
    • Numbers (0-9)
    • Symbols or special characters
  • Your password can not be the same as any of your 24 previous passwords.
  • Your password should not be a common word or name, or a close variation.
  • Your password should not be a minor variation of your old password.
  • You cannot have changed your password within the last 24 hours.

Important:

  • Don’t use one of the above examples as your password.
  • Never give out your password or share it with anyone else. You are responsible for all activity that occurs with your account including malicious activity that results in damages.
  • User names and passwords should not be left in any form that would allow discovery by another. For example, writing the password down and putting it in your desk drawer is not secure. If needed, you can write the password down but keep it somewhere safe (such as your wallet) where no one else would have access to it.
  • A weak password can be broken into in a matter of minutes and your personal data could be corrupted or deleted.
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Tools

Passwords are like underwear

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Change them often.

Don’t share them with friends.

Don’t leave them lying around.

Be mysterious.

An insecure password can put you and the entire computing community at risk. Be a good citizen and do your part to help maintain a secure computing environment.