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Password Security


 

Passwords

Make sure all of your passwords are at least 8 characters long, and include a good mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

Some further tips:

  • Change your passwords regularly.
  • Don’t share your passwords with anyone else under any circumstances.
  • Don’t use passwords which are based on personal information about you or people close to you which can easily be guessed.
  • Don’t use words found in the dictionary of any language.
  • Don’t use the same password across multiple systems.
  • Don’t write your passwords down.  If you have trouble remembering your passwords, use a secure password manager to keep track of them.
  • Use passphrases when you can.
  • Use multi-factor authentication when it is available.

Additional Resources

  • Choosing and Protecting Passwords (from US-CERT)
  • List of Password Managers (from Wikipedia)
  • Passphrases (from Wikipedia)
  • Password Creation Advice (from Gibson Research).  This page contains a tool which helps you to determine the complexity of a password and how often it should be changed.  This is a useful tool, and we encourage experimenting with it to learn strategies for creating good passwords and good practices for changing them regularly.  At the same time, while we don’t believe there are any particular security or privacy concerns with this tool, we urge caution, as with any application which requests a password, and we advise that you don’t input any passwords into it that you are currently using on any system.
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