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Creating Strong Passwords

Passwords are an important part of computer security. Hackers know this and spend a lot of their time trying to guess passwords. Many security experts believe that maintaining strong passwords and changing passwords on a regular basis can help protect IT systems and information.

Virginia Tech now requires annual changes for PID passwords, Hokies passwords, and production Oracle ID passwords for Banner, Warehouse, GIS, Foundation, and VaTech. While many of us may not use all of these systems, it is a good idea to create strong passwords and change them regularly.

Passwords Tricks to Avoid

Reason

Should not be an alphabetic series either forwards or backwards, i.e., ABCDEF or FEDCBA.Hackers and cyber criminals know all of these tricks.  They even have access to automated programs that will guess passwords based these items.
Should not be a numeric series, either forwards or backwards, i.e., 123456 or 654321.
Should not be a string of all identical letters or numbers, i.e., AAAAAA or 111111.
Should not be a common keyboard shortcut, i.e., ASDFG or QWERTY.
Should not be your name or userid, or any variation thereof, such as your name or userid spelled backwards, with mixed case letters, etc.
Should not be a word(s) that can be easily associated with you, such as the name of your spouse, child, pet, favorite football team, or literary character.
Should not be a common word that you might find in a dictionary.

General Tips for Password Creation

Reason

Create passwords that are at least eight characters long.It is harder to guess a password longer than 8 characters. The longer the password is the stronger it may be.
Try combining the first letters of each word of a phrase to produce the password.This produces a password that is random and still easy to remember.
Try including at least one symbol or number in the password, but preferably not just one at the endPasswords that use uppercase, lowercase,numbers, and symbols that are more than 8 characters are harder to guess.
Try using a varying combination of lower and upper case letters in the password.


Password Security Can Be Maintained By

  • using different passwords on each account you have.
  • changing your passwords at regular intervals.
  • never writing your passwords down.
  • never sharing your password with others.   

    Change your password
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Is this your password?

If your password appears on this list then it is a good time to change.  Hackers have many tools at their disposal including proven password lists.  Computers and networks are broken into every day with automated programs that use a password list just like this.

This is an example of a common password list taken from the internet.


secret
hokies
123456
password
12345678
1234
12345
dragon
qwerty
696969
mustang
letmein
baseball
master
michael
football
shadow
monkey
abc123
pass
6969
jordan
harley
ranger
iwantu
jennifer
hunter
2000
test
batman
trustno1
thomas
tigger
robert
access
love
buster
1234567
soccer
hockey
george
andrew
charlie
superman
dallas
jessica
panties
pepper
1111
austin
william
daniel
golfer
summer
heather
hammer
yankees
joshua
maggie
biteme
enter
ashley
thunder
cowboy
silver
richard
orange
merlin
michelle
corvette
bigdog
cheese
matthew
121212
patrick
martin
freedom
ginger
nicole
sparky
yellow
camaro
secret
falcon
taylor
111111
131313
123123
hello
scooter
please
porsche
guitar
chelsea
black
diamond
nascar
jackson
cameron
654321
computer
amanda
wizard
xxxxxxxx
money
phoenix
mickey
bailey
knight
iceman
tigers
purple
andrea
dakota
aaaaaa
player
sunshine
morgan
starwars
boomer
cowboys
edward
charles
girls
booboo
coffee
xxxxxx
bulldog
ncc1701
rabbit
peanut
john
johnny
gandalf
spanky
winter
brandy
compaq
carlos
tennis
james
mike
brandon
fender
anthony
ferrari
cookie
chicken
maverick
chicago
joseph
diablo
hardcore
666666
willie
welcome
chris
panther
yamaha
justin
banana
driver
marine
angels
fishing
david
maddog
hooters
wilson
butthead
dennis
captain
chester
smokey
xavier
steven
viking
snoopy
blue
eagles
winner
samantha
house
miller
flower
jack
firebird
butter
united
turtle
steelers
tiffany
zxcvbn
tomcat
golf
bond007
bear
tiger
doctor
gateway
gators
angel
junior
thx1138
porno
badboy
debbie
spider
melissa
booger
1212
flyers
fish
matrix
teens
scooby
jason
walter
boston
braves
yankee
lover
barney
victor
tucker
princess
mercedes
5150
doggie
zzzzzz
gunner
bubba
2112
fred
johnson
xxxxx
member
donald
bigdaddy
bronco
voyager
rangers
birdie
trouble
white
topgun
green
super
qazwsx
magic
lakers
rachel
slayer
scott
2222
asdf
video
london
7777
marlboro
srinivas
internet
action
carter
jasper
monster
teresa
jeremy
11111111
bill
crystal
peter
beer
rocket
theman
oliver
prince
beach
amateur
7777777
muffin
redsox
star
testing
shannon
murphy
frank
hannah
dave
eagle1
11111
mother
nathan
raiders
steve
forever
angela
viper
ou812
jake
lovers
gregory
buddy
whatever
young
nicholas
lucky
helpme
jackie
monica
midnight
college
baby
brian
mark
startrek
sierra
leather
232323
4444
beavis
happy
sophie
ladies
naughty
giants
booty
blonde
golden
0
fire
sandra
pookie
packers
einstein
dolphins
0
chevy
winston
warrior
sammy
8675309
zxcvbnm
power
victoria
asdfgh
toyota
travis
hotdog
paris
rock
xxxx
extreme
redskins
erotic
dirty
ford
freddy
arsenal
access14
wolf
iloveyou
alex
florida
eric
legend
movie
success
rosebud
jaguar
great
cool
cooper
1313
scorpio
mountain
madison
987654
brazil
lauren
japan
naked
stars
apple
alexis
aaaa
bonnie
peaches
jasmine
kevin
matt
qwertyui
danielle
4321
4128
runner
swimming
dolphin
gordon
casper
stupid
saturn
gemini
apples
august
3333
canada
blazer
hunting
kitty
rainbow
112233
arthur
cream
calvin
shaved
surfer
samson
kelly
paul
mine
king
racing
5555
eagle
hentai
newyork
little
redwings
smith
sticky
cocacola
animal
broncos
private
skippy
marvin
blondes
enjoy
girl
apollo
parker
qwert
time
sydney
women
voodoo
magnum
juice
abgrtyu
777777
dreams
maxwell
music
rush2112
russia
scorpion
rebecca
tester
mistress
phantom
billy
6666
albert