Location: Bowdoin / IT / FYI / Information Security / FAQ / Strong Passwords

Information Security

Get Help

Submit Help Ticket 24/7

Live Chat

Faculty/Staff
x3030 or 207-725-3030
Students
x5050 or 207-721-5050

Strong Passwords

Create Strong, Memorable Passwords

  1. Think of a sentence you can remember.  "My son Aiden is three years old."
  2. Does the system allow passphrases?
  3. Convert the phrase to a password.  "msaityo"
  4. Add complexity.  "My SoN Ayd3N is 3 yeeRs old"  Becomes: "MsAy3yo"
  5. Substitute some special characters.  "MySoN 8N i$ 3 yeeR$ old"  Becomes: "M$8ni3y0"
  • Password should be at least 8 characters long.
  • Password should contain at least one of each of the following: number, lowercase alphabet, uppercase alphabet, special character.
  • The longer a password is, the harder it is to guess.

Avoid these Password Strategies

  • Do not use your login name.
  • Do not use words in a dictionary, in any language.
  • Do not use names or proper names or media characters.
  • Do not use any of the above spelled backwards.
  • Do not use any of the above preceded or followed by a number.
  • Do not use any information easily obtained about you:  phone number, license number, address, place of work, college, etc...
  • Do not use birthdates.
  • Avoid sequences or repeated characters.  "12345678", "222222", 'abcdefg", "asdfjkl;"
  • Avoid using only look-alike substitutions of numbers or symbols.  "MIcr0$0ft", "P@ssw0rd"
  • Avoid using the same password everywhere.
  • Do not place password on sticky note under the keyboard (or elsewhere).

Keep your Password Secret

  • Do not reveal to others.
  • Protect any recorded passwords.
  • Never provide your password over email or based on an e-mail request.
  • Change your passwords at least once a semester.
  • Do not type passwords on computers that you do not control (trust).
  • Only enter passwords into secure sites and authentic sites.
Document author:
ngrant
Last modified:
Oct 02, 2009