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Passwords

A password is the most basic mechanism used to authenticate to computers and accounts.

Your MacID credentials are often the only thing standing in front of confidential or restricted information, protecting your password is critical to security and privacy at McMaster. The draft Password Standard establishes your rights and responsibilities as related to you MacID credentials and password, and defines the minimum standard for creating passwords. Passwords are ubiquitous; it is not uncommon for the average internet user to have over 50 different websites which they access using a password. If they’re doing data right, this means 50 unique passwords! Password management is not easy, but it is a reality of computing.

Password standards

  • Your password should be complex. Use a combination upper case and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols to create a something that you will remember.
  • Your password should not be easy to guess. So don’t use your cat’s name or a common dictionary word, not even if you change all the o’s to 0’s and the e’s to 3’s.
  • Your password should be long. The password standard requires that your password is at least 8 characters, but we recommend that you make it 12. A longer password is a stronger password.
  • Your password should be unique. Avoid using reusing passwords; create a new one for every account. That way, if one account becomes compromised then the others remain safe.
  • Your password should be private. Never share your password with anyone, and never leave it where it could easily be found. If you write it on a sticky note, someone will find it. Also, never store your password in your browser cache, unless you are using a password manager that encrypts stored credentials.
  • Reset your password immediately if you suspect someone else has access to your account. And, remember to call IT Security if you suspect someone is abusing passwords.