Great Tip on Creating a Secure Passphrase

Recently from ITCS

  1. First, make up a sentence you can remember.  For example: My dog, Sylvia, has a birthday January 14.
  2. Next, take the first letter of each word and…
    1. Make 1-2 letters upper case
    2. Make at least one letter a number
    3. Make at least one letter a special character such as, ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) = +
  3. The new passphrase:  Md$habJ1 (don’t use this one!).

Hacker programs crack your passphrase by trying every word in the dictionary and other tricks.  Here are a few things to avoid:

  • Never use personal information to create a passphrase.
  • Never use the word, password, as your passphrase.  This includes using numbers or special characters to make the word look different.
  • Never use easily-obtained, personal information such as license plate numbers, telephone numbers, etc., as part of your passphrase.
  • Never use any word contained in a dictionary, spelling list or other word list in any language.
  • Never use transformations such as reversing the spelling, changing upper case to lower case or using all caps.
  • Never select a passphrase that is common to everyone (Go@Pirates!).

For more information on passphrase security, please visit www.ecu.edu/itcs/ithelpdesk/passphrase.cfm.

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