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All passwords should have three of the four following requirements:

  • Contain at least eight alphanumeric characters.Image for Passwords
  • Contain both upper and lower case letters.
  • Contain at least one number (for example, 0-9).
  • Contain at least one special character (for example,!$%^&*()_+|~-=\`{}[]:";'<>?,/).

Weak passwords usually have the following characteristics:

  • Contains less than eight characters
  • Can be found in any dictionary.
  • Contains personal information such as birthdates, address, or names of family members.
  • Contains parts of your name or NetID.
  • Contains common words spelled backward, or preceded or followed by a number (Sparty1, 1Sparty).

Never write down a password. Instead, try to create a password that you can remember. One way to do this is to create a password based on phrase. For example, the phrase "My first child was born at Sparrow Hospital on January 1st at 9:30 a.m." could become "Mfcwb@SHoJ1@930AM." This password takes the first character of each word in the phrase and replaces the word 'at' with the symbol @. It is easy to remember because it something that you'll never forget. This password is an excellent example of a good password. It is over seventeen characters long, contains both upper and lower case letters, and has special characters. (Note: Do not use this example as password)

If you have difficulty remembering your passwords, consider using a password manager. A password manager is a software application that helps a person safely store and organize their passwords. Password managers usually store passwords in an encrypted database. The software requires the person to create a master password: a single very strong password which grants you access to your entire password database. There are several options for password manager software such as lastpass , 1password, and Keepass. Lastpass has option where you can store the password locally on your computer or pay to have your password stored on their servers for an annual fee. This would allow you to sync your password database between devices. KeePass is an Open Source Password manager software. It is similar to both lastpass and 1password. 

Security category