Creating Complex Passwords
Creating a strong password doesn't have to be a hard task, and taking the time to create complex passwords will pay off in the long run. There are several different ways to manage your passwords from traditional methods to password managers.
First, a few rules to follow when creating passwords for your accounts.
- Don't reuse passwords across multiple sites.
If you use the same password for your e-mail, PayPal, Facebook, and Ebay, and just one of those accounts is compromised, the attacker now has access to all of those accounts.
- Don't use weak passwords.
Avoid common pitfalls in choosing passwords. Avoid using words found in a dictionary, don't use personal information (like birthdays or names of pets), and avoid misspelling words or substitutions, such as using 1 for l and 0 for o. Additionally, adding numbers to the end of your password doesn't make it any more secure.
- Don't share your passwords.
UT Tyler's Acceptable Use Policy states "University issued or required passwords, including digital certificate passwords, Personal Identification Numbers (PIN), Digital Certificates, Security Tokens (i.e. Smartcard), or similar information or devices used for identification and authorization purposes shall be maintained securely and shall not be shared or disclosed to anyone."
- Don't post your password in plain sight.
Do not write your password on a sticky note and stick it to your monitor, desk, or put it in your desk drawer. If you do have your password written down on something, ensure it is locked somewhere that only you have access to.
- Consider using two-factor authentication, when available.
This process uses two factors to determine that you are who you say you are. These factors can be:
- Something you know (password, PIN number)
- Something you have (security token, smart phone)
- Something you are (facial recognition, finger print scanning)
An example of two-factor authentication is withdrawing money from an ATM. You must have your bank card (something you have), and you must know the pin code (something you know) in order to withdraw money. This prevents criminals from stealing your card and using it to take money from your account. Without the pin, the card is useless. This is a feature available on many accounts now, and is highly recommended as a method of preventing fraud.