How to Create Strong Passwords

Why are strong passwords needed?
Good computer security includes the use of strong passwords for all your accounts. Passwords can be the weakest link in a computer security scheme. Strong passwords are important because password cracking tools continue to improve and the computers used to crack passwords are more powerful. Network passwords that once took weeks to break can now be broken in hours.

Password cracking software uses one of three approaches: intelligent guessing, dictionary attacks, and automation that tries every possible combination of characters. Given enough time, the automated method can crack any password. However, it still can take months to crack a strong password.

For a password to be strong and hard to break, it should:

Do NOT use:

Try to change your password(s) every 6 months.

When typing in your password, make sure no one is watching you type. Ask anyone around you to kindly look away.

Windows 2000/XP passwords can be up to 127 characters long. However, if you are using Windows 2000/XP on a network that also has computers using Windows 95 or Windows 98, consider using passwords not longer than 14 characters. Windows 95 and Windows 98 support passwords of up to 14 characters. If your password is longer, you may not be able to log on to your network from those computers. To view all user accounts and set/change their passwords, do the following:

Non-windows systems (Linux, Solaris, Mac, etc.) can have different maximum characters. Speak to your computer/network administrator for the maximum number. SEASnet network systems have a maximum of 8 characters, please use up all 8 for higher security.

*For SEASnet managed machines, do NOT change the administrator/root account's password if you have administrative/root privileges.

Modified from Microsoft's Document