The Challenge of Passwords in Schools

When upgrading the computers in a school that enrolled students in grades K-12, the new technology coordinator did not change the minimum complexity requirements of passwords for the organizational units containing student users. When they first logged on to computers, they were prompted to change their passwords and were met with the complexity requirements. Students in the primary grades who were just learning to read and had little experience with keyboards found the task of creating a password with eight characters, and a combination of letters, including capitals, numbers, and special characters unmanageable. The students were effectively locked out of the computers because they were incapable of typing passwords.