Selecting Good Passwords

Passwords must contain:

  • a minimum of 1 lower case letter [a-z] and
  • a minimum of 1 upper case letter [A-Z] and
  • a minimum of 1 numeric character [0-9] and
  • a minimum of 1 special character: ~`!@#$%^&*()-_+={}[]|\;:"<>,./?
  • at least 1 upper case, numeric, and special character must be EMBEDDED somewhere in the middle of the password, and not just be the first or the last character of the password string.
  • Here are some example passwords. (Note that because these appear here in plaintext, they are no longer suitable for use.)
    Random Non-Random
    ro,iWx4x blu3@T0p
    b<Gk8ytv cash$C0w
    jp}mSu8b not7Th!s
  • Passwords must be at least 8 characters in length.
  • Please do not use the same password in the CS Department that you use anywhere else -- either in the rest of the University, at other jobs, other research institutions,, etc.
  • Never tell *anyone* else your password.
  • Don't write your password down, and especially don't post in your work area, or online in a file.
  • Passwords must not be based on a dictionary word or have been previously cracked.
  • Passwords should not contain any personal information.

Techniques for selecting strong and memorable passwords can be found in the OIT Knowledge Base. (Note, however, that our password rules differ from OIT's password rules.)