Password Security is Paramount

A strong password is key to protecting your personal information and securing your online interactions and transactions. The strongest passwords are often meaningful, lengthy, complex, varied, and changed frequently.

Florida A&M advocates for strong passwords by requiring members of the University community to change their passwords every 90 days. Check out the tips below to learn the dos and don'ts of creating the strongest password possible.

Devising a Strong Password

When thinking about your potential password, consider:

  • Basing a password on a full sentence (e.g., cuWnPIsd427 from "coming up with new passwords is sometimes difficult") or a line/phrase/verse from a book, poem, or song (e.g., !4scOrE&sEveNYeaRs_ag0) or
  • Using a short phrase, unique word, or acronym composed of mixed cases, special characters, capitalization, numbers, punctuation, and misspellings (e.g., #H8work! or @H0me2day)

Dos and Dont's of Creating a Password

When actually creating your password, keep in mind the following Dos and Dont's:

Do's

  • Use at least 3 of the following characters: alphabetic, mixed case (upper and lower), numeric, and punctuation
  • Create passwords often
  • Create 8-character length or longer passwords or phrases
  • Use 2-factor authentication if available (Google Chrome)
  • Use memorable lies for security questions (e.g., mother's maiden name=Batgirl)
  • Use password management software (e.g., lastpass.com)
  • Lock phone or mobile device with an alphanumeric password (e.g. pattern lock option on Android phones)
  • Wipe down fingerprints on mobile devices

Dont's

  • Share your password with anyone, in-person or via e-mail
  • Use dictionary words or proper names
  • Use easy-to-remember personal information such as: name, family/pets' names, birthdates, etc.
  • Use common sequences (e.g., 12345 or april2013)
  • Use any previously-used passwords or variations of previously-used passwords
  • Use derivatives of your user ID
  • Use the same password for all of your logins
  • Write down passwords on post-it notes near device

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