How-to: Choosing a Password

Your password is the key to securing your data. Choosing a secure password is best way to ensure the security of your account. A variety of password hacking programs exist, allowing hackers to access personal data, damage machines, or compromise entire systems or networks. A good password should be nearly impossible for someone to guess. Several passwords will be given as examples throughout this page, it is advised that you do not use them in any form as your personal password.

Password Requirements:

  1. At least 15 characters.
  2. No Spaces.
  3. No Personal Information.*
  4. No previously used passwords.**
  5. Choose between three of the following four options:
    1. At least one (1) Upper-Case letter.
    2. At least one (1) Lower-Case letter.
    3. At least one (1) number.
    4. At least one (1) special character.***

* This includes ANY information we have on record about you (i.e. names, phone numbers, addresses, etc.)

** You will be required to change your password every six months, and will not be allowed to reuse any of your past five (5) passwords.

*** A “Special Character” is defined as any symbol located on a US keyboard (i.e. `~!@#$%^&*()_+-=). For example, Plato&Rats31265



Here are some suggestions to help you create the most secure password based on recommendations from The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). Again, several passwords will be given as examples throughout this page, it is advised that you do not use them in any form as your personal password.

Please do NOT use:

  1. your login user name in any form

  2. your name or your family members' names

  3. information easily obtained about you, such as license plate numbers, telephone numbers, office number, birthdays, etc.

  4. a word contained in English or foreign language dictionaries, spelling lists, or other lists of obvious words such as “password”, “abc12345”, etc.

  5. alphabetic characters replaced with non-alphabetic characters that are look-a-likes: '0' for 'o' or '1' for 'l'

You MAY use:

  1. Combination of lower/uppercase alphabetic characters with numeric characters; e.g., PlatoRats182342.

  2. Alphabetic characters replaced with non-alphabetic at least one non-alphabetic character (digits or punctuation--restricted to the characters found on the top row of the keyboard; namely, `~!@#$%^&*()_+-=), which should be imbedded in the password; e.g. Plato&Rats318569

  3. a password that is easy to remember, so that you don't have to write it down and that you can type quickly.

Methods for selecting a password that adheres to these guidelines include:

  1. Choose a line from a song or poem, using the first letter of each word with the addition of a year; e.g., OuamdWIpwaw1970 -- "Once upon a midnight dreary/While I pondered weak and weary"

  2. Alternate between one consonant and one or two vowels, for at least eight characters, creating nonsense words that are usually pronounceable and easily remembered; e.g., corinawot -- "co rin a wot"

  3. Choose two words and join them with one or two punctuation or numeric characters between them; e.g., Uranium8@Mercury

  4. Invent an acronym; e.g., TitftIutc4rIcntd -- "This is the first time I'm using the computer for(4) reasons I care not to discuss"

To Top

Questions?

Contact the UCC Help Desk at (504) 280-HELP (4357).