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When it comes to protecting online information, good passwording techniques are cornerstone. Good passwording is both a function of password strength, and user practice.

What makes a password strong?

  • Length - the longer the better (minimum 8, recommended 16).
  • Mixed Case - combine letters, numbers and mixed case for a stronger password.
  • Uniqueness - don't use the same password for SPU as your bank or Ebay account.
  • Use a Passphrase - it's easy to remember and simple to create!

What is meant by good "user practice?"

It's really simple - keep your passwords to yourself:

  • Don't write them down.
  • Don't share with anyone.
  • Change them once a year.

Note: Organizations should never ask for your passwords. There is no "technical" reason to disclose them, so don't! Be very suspicious of anyone who asks.

How To:

“Best Practices” for account security dictate that passwords be long, complex, and unique. Below is our recommended method for creating a strong password.

  1. Choose a passphrase - Meat and potatoes for dinner.
    ( A passphrase is simply a sentence that you can easily remember.)
  2. Add complexity - M3at&potatoes4dinner!
    This becomes a “root passphrase.”
  3. Develop a convention for appending unique characters to the passphrase
    A simple convention would be to take the first and last character of the site name, and append these characters respectively to the beginning and ending of the root passphrase.

For example:

Site Convention Characters

Resulting unique passphrase

Amazon A n

AM3at&potatoes4dinner!n

Ebay E y

EM3at&potatoes4dinner!y

Cabelas C s

CM3at&potatoes4dinner!s

Woot W t

WM3at&potatoes4dinner!t

With this convention, you can have total recall of passwords, even on those accounts you use infrequently.

Common Problems:

Access your Email (How to access your email account after you get a username and password)

SPU Username (General overview of your accounts)

Security Awareness (security ideas to be aware of for your protection)



Last Updated: 3/11/2010