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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Passwords

Page address: https://www.mnsu.edu/its/security/cyberaware/passwords.html

Passwords are the keys that protect our most sensitive and valuable files, accounts, and devices. A strong password can limit your risk of compromise. 

  • Reusing passwords makes it easier for attackers to get in, especially on the internet
    • LinkedIn, Dropbox, MySpace, Facebook and many more have all been compromised via re-used passwords.
    • Attackers don't need to crack the actual passwords in some cases
    • Use unique passwords for unique places
  • Longer is better
    • Research has shown 8 character passwords can be broken in as little as 6 hours
    • Use 12 character passphrases (random words strung together) or longer
    • Acronyms work well
    • Use random special characters … commons substitutions are easily guessed (a - @, e - $, 1 - !)
    • Use passwords that cannot be easily guessed such as pet names, birthdays, current year, etc.
  • Keep passwords safe physically
    • Do not write down passwords on sticky notes
    • Stay away from using your Internet browser’s built in password manager
  • Preventing unauhorized access
    • Have a password protected screen-saver
    • Lock your computer/device when you walk away from it
    Don’t share with anyone. Anyone includes your friends and family.

Why do you need a strong password

A weak password provides attackers with very easy access to your computer system/accounts. Strong passwords are considerably harder to crack or break.

How to form a strong password

 

  • Take a sentence that has a mix of spencial characters, number, upper case and lower case in it
  • Pick the first letter of each word
  • Turn it into password

 

For example:

My house address is # 18 Stadium Road, Mankato, MN. = Mhai#18SR,M,MN.