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
|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
|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 end||Passwords 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.|
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.