InfoSec Blog - Complex Passwords 101

 

September 1, 2016

Did you know that Universities are one of the biggest targets for cyber crime and identity theft? Eek! Here is what you need to know.

 

Make sure your U of G password is different from all others!
If a cyber criminal cracks a password from one account, make no mistake that they will try to hack your other accounts with that same password. Keeping your U of G password unique ensures the security of your personal information as well as institutional information. We need your help to keep our campus community safe!

 

Create different and complex passwords for every account
It is critically important to create different passwords for each account. Tip: password length is more important than complexity. Here are some tips to create strong passwords:

  • Make them LONG (a 15-character password can evade a password cracker for as long as a year, whereas an 8-character password can be cracked in a few days)
  • Use symbols when allowed
  • Include uppercase, lowercase, and numbers - consider replacing letters with numbers or symbols (e.g., instead of "University" use "Un1v3rs1ty")
  • Make your password reset questions hard to crack (hackers can often easily crack these!)
  • Don't use dictionary words
  • Change your U of G password at least once/year

 

Never give out your password – to anyone!
Not to your best friend, partner, parent, coworker or cousin. And remember – U of G will NEVER ask for your password.

 

Consider using a password manager
Password managers like LastPass or Dashlane are great tools to ensure you have ultra complex passwords, but only one that you need to remember! They do all the work.

 

Consider multi-factor authentication
Many web-based services offer this – if there is a login attempt from an unrecognized device – you will receive a text/message on one of your other devices to make sure the login was from you.

 

Remember! The InfoSec team – part of Computing and Communications Services (CCS) at U of G, can help you stay safe! Check out the InfoSec website and contact 58888help@uoguelph.ca or x 58888 with any security concerns.

Thank you for helping to keep our campus safe!

 

Written by: CCS Information Security

Image Source: Freepik