Choosing Passwords

Tips for choosing Passwords that can be easily remembered, but are secure

This document outlines some basic requirements for passwords that users should consider when choosing passwords. Then it provides tips for selecting strong passwords that can still be remembered and fit these requirements.

Requirements

  • Minimum Length – 8 characters
  • Maximum length – 14 characters
  • Passwords should use three of four of the following four types of characters:
    1. Lowercase
    2. Uppercase
    3. Numbers
    4. Special characters such as !@#$%^&*(){}[]

Remember that passwords are case sensitive while the user name or login name is not.

How to use your password

Your network password is the password that you normally use when you log into your computer every morning. Most businesses use a Windows domain and your network password is used to control your access to everything you use on the network. This includes your email, files, and databases. Would you want someone else to have access all your files without your permission? You must have a strong and well protected password to provent this.

Creating Passwords

  1. Embed a word or part of a word within another.
  2. Mispel a word deleberitely especially if you use a word for part of your password.
  3. Interleave two or more words.
  4. Use a phrase that is personal to you and use the first, second, or third character in each word in each phrase. The Phrase can be a question and answer phrase. There can be several variants to this approach:

Examples

In these examples , I threw in punctuation, usually at the end, but it could be applied at the beginning or in the case of passwords built with question/answer phrases, punctuation would work well in the middle.

  1. Using a phrase with a number at the end of it. Example:
  2. Using a phrase with a question and answer and numerical representation of the first letters of the answer. Example:
  3. Using a phrase with a question and answer and numerical representation of all the letters in the answer. Examples:
  4. Using a phrase with a numerical representation of one word in the phrase. Example:
  5. Using a phrase with some punctuation or special characters. Example:

In many of the above examples, it is easy to throw in punctuation such as a ? when part of your phrase may be a question. If your phrase involves numbers or you work with numbers regularly, $, %, and # may be easy to use in your password and still remember. If your phrase uses the word "and" or "or", you can substitute "&" or "|". Also you can split yor password with "/" or "\".

Also remember to use upper and lower case letters in different parts of your password in ways that are easy for you to recall.

 

Author:  Mark Allen