Password Security

With the growing importance of accounts and the growing amount of information and communication that occurs on digital networks, password security is becoming very important. In the same way that you would not leave your house keys around for anyone to use your house, you should not leave your password around for anyone to use your accounts. The excuse “I don’t care who sees my stuff,” is valid for only part of the threat to your accounts. You may not care who sees your stuff, but you should care who creates, shares, and communicates posing as you.

A few things to remember about passwords:

> A credible network administrator will never ask you for your password; if one does simply say “no.”

> Passwords can always be reset. This can be done  through email on Internet systems, or by the system administrator on LAN’s. Typically, you are given a password that allows you to log on once, and  when you access the account you reset the password.

> Many systems require complex passwords. Most passwords require (a) at least eight characters); (b) a mix of letters (capitol and lower case), numerals, and punctuation (but not spaces); and the word not be a name or dictionary word.

> Do not keep passwords written where they can be seen.

> So not ask others for their passwords. (Exceptions made for students with special needs should be done only when necessary and only identified individuals should have the password.)

> You can be held legally responsible for accounts that are compromised due to your actions.