An Easy Trick to Create a Secure Passphrase

So, it’s time to change your ECU passphrase, and you’re stuck thinking of one that is easy to remember. Rather than using the two worst passwords known to man, 12345678 or password, here’s an easy trick to creating a new passphrase for yourself that’s easy to remember, unique and hard to crack.

Set a secure passphrase

Set a secure passphrase

  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…
  3. Make 1-2 letters upper case
  4. Make at least one letter a number
  5. Make at least one letter a special character such as, ! @ # $ % & * = +
  6. 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

Still have questions? Call the IT Help Desk, 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081.

CrashPlan Now Approved for FERPA Data – Pre-Approval Required


If you are approved to save FERPA information to your laptop or desktop, CrashPlan is now approved to back up that data.*

Using 448-bit file encryption with minute-by-minute backups, department data is secure and ready to restore in the event of a crash or accidental deletion.

Other CrashPlan features include:

  • Unlimited online storage
  • Mac and Windows availability
  • Real-time dashboard reporting
  • Mobile app file viewing
  • Web browser file restore
  • Online, email and phone support

*NOTE: Pre-approval is REQUIRED to store FERPA information to a laptop, desktop or other individual user device which can then become part of your CrashPlan backup.  HIPAA and other sensitive data should be stored on Piratedrive rather than a user’s work device.  ECU policy states that credit card information should never be stored anywhere on ECU’s network.

For more information regarding the storage and use of sensitive data, please visit

Department Requests

Licensed by ECU, CrashPlan is available to departments through an annual license fee of $78.50 per user.  Each license allows up to four Mac or Windows installations.

For more information on licensing and support, visit the CrashPlan website: