Tuesday March 14, 2017

Taking Control of Passwords: Creating Super-Passwords

Last month we prematurely pondered a perpetual password perplexity: how do I create a long, complicated yet memorable password? Presently, we provide a proposition.

Suggestions for Creating the Best. Password. Ever. (Possibly.)

  1. Go Long: Many sites set a six or eight character minimum, but you can do better than that. Shoot for at least 12-15 . . . or even longer. Consider starting with a sentence or series of words that you’ll remember, and then . . .
  2. Cut Them Short: Don’t use full words - if you’re starting with that sentence or series of words, just use the first letter or two of each word
  3. Avoid Unspecial Specials: If there’s a special character requirement, avoid the most common ones: ! @ # $
  4. Keep the Kids Out of It: Don’t use common (or Facebook-available) info in your passwords, like your kids’ names and birthdays

(Loosely) Related Linkages

What's The Deal with Poor Ole' Merle?

Whenever UDit publishes any kind of password guidance, our system administrators immediately prohibit the use of “sample” or “example” passwords suggested therein. “MerleHaggard1troubador” fell victim to that fate after being suggested as an example by (none other than) our own Phish Commish several year back.

Similarly, you may have received Safe Computing post-it notes last year; the “Keep-1tS@fe” password on those is *also* blocked. As is “Lk,500mnkys!” (original usage unknown). As you might suspect, our system admins aren’t big fans of our clever, new password examples, but we appreciate their forbearance.

And now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know the rest of the story.

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