CHOOSING STRONG PASSWORDS
Strong passwords help safeguard the security of your data and the entire Smith network.
- For more information about the importance of strong network passwords and what they protect at Smith, click here.
- To access the Smith network password change utility, click here.
Here are the eight rules for strong passwords at Smith, along with a simple example that changes to meet each rule. A strong password must have, at minimum:
|At least 8 characters||betty123|
|Must have at least 5 unique characters|
| No more than 2 consecutive repeating characters
("eeMe" is ok, "Meee" is not)
|At least one lower-case character|
|At least one upper-case character||Betty123|
|At least one numeric character|
At least one special character
|May not include your username, first name, or last name||B!tty123|
Note that the password B!tty123 is still very weak because it contains three sequential numbers (123). While not a requirement, we recommend that you:
Avoid using strings of 3 or more sequential letters (abc) or numbers (567) in your password.
Here are other important points to consider:
- Don't use a word, proper name, or place name from any language. Computer-readable dictionaries of every language on earth are routinely used by hackers, which means that even your mother's maiden name in Urdu can be as easily hacked as any simple English word.
- Don't use any simple combination of two shorter words, or a word in reverse, or any word slightly misspelled. All these options are easily discovered.
- Don't use the name of a real or fictional character in any book, movie, play, comic book, or musical work. All of these, along with any variations in spelling, are easily hacked. The fact that a character name is obscure means nothing. They are all hackable, effortlessly.
- The ideal password is as random as possible, with no apparent meaning. If it looks like you typed it by throwing small rocks at your keyboard from 10 feet away, it's probably a good enough password.
Useful Strategies to Try
Try one of the following approaches to make a strong password that is relatively easy to remember:
- Use your favorite ice cream flavor, broken up with your favorite lottery number and a special character: m8&i5N3t
- Use your favorite color backwards, broken up with your shoe size and a special character: teL7oi*v5
- Make up a short sentence like, "People at 32 Elm Street drink tea." Then use the first letter of each word and a special character to construct your password: pa+32Esdt
With a little imagination and creativity, you can defeat hackers and help keep your accounts and the Smith network secure.
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