Why we need a strong password
In a recent study of passwords, the top 10,000 most commonly used passwords were used by 98.8% of all users. Of the top 1,000 passwords 91% were used by all users.
Some examples of using a standard desktop PC to brute force guess your password:
|Password||Time to guess|
|charlie or Charlie||
Instantly (in Top 50 of most used passwords)
Instantly (in Top 1,040 of most used passwords)
2 billion years
This demonstrates how appending a few extra characters that can be easy to remember can dramatically protect your password from brute force attacks.
However the passwords above also highlight a problem with using a name and date in your password - it passes the complexity rules and appears to take a long time for brute force guess, but with a little knowledege about who you are trying to hack it can make it trivial to do too.
For the above if one of my names or family members names were Charles and there was a family birthday in 1965 a good hacker would use this information to target likely passwords before random ones. Guessing Charlie1965 would become trivial...
College Password Policy
|Minimum Password Length||9 characters (14 or more would be ideal)|
Passwords must not contain any part of your Account Name. i.e. for say Fred Bloggs, using either "Fred" or "Bloggs" in your password will be disallowed.
Passwords must contain characters from three of the following five categories:
|Password History||You cannot use your current or last used password again|
|Logon Attempts||After 5 unsuccessful logon attempts your account will be locked and you will need to contact the IT Dept to have it unlocked.|
Please do not use the same or a similar password that you use for Raven.
Please do not use the same or a similar password that you use for any of your home computers.
Please do not use the same or a similar password that you use for any online accounts - ie. Bank Account, Amazon, Google, etc.,
Stuck for a password?
or use a short sentence
|What to do||Example|
|Start with a short sentence thats special to you||I want a strong password|
|Remove the spaces between the words||Iwantastrongpassword|
|Add odd capitals and mis-spell or use shorthand||IwntAstrONGpasswd|
|Add numbers that are meaningful but not your birthday||IwntAstrONGpasswd28|
or you can start with a longer sentence or phrase
|What to do||Example|
|Start with a long sentence thats special to you||All I want for Christmas is a really strong password|
|Remove the spaces between the words||AIwfCiarsp|
|Add special characters or numbers||AIwfCiarsp25?|