Information and Password Security Guidelines

Information Security
The university provides a secure network where employees and students can feel safe utilizing the University network and electronic resources in pursuit of academic goals. Network safeguards are in place to manage network traffic and securely manage passwords including password resets. The University evaluates data security on an ongoing basis, including conducting independent external evaluations of our data security practices. 

Password Security
Your passwords are the keys you use to access information that you've stored on your computer and in your online accounts. It is your responsibility to use strong passwords and keep them well protected. Below is the current set of recommendations for password security: 

  • Do Not Share Your Password
    Do not share your password with friends, family, co-workers or even OIT support staff ( NOTE: It’s OIT’s policy to never ask for your password) . Never send passwords or other sensitive personal information via email. 
     

  • Do Not Save Your Password
    Some applications and Web sites offer to save your passwords. This is convenient, but poses a security risk. Always choose 'No' when prompted to save a password online. 

  • Do Not Write Down Your Password
    Storing passwords on post-it notes on your monitor (or even under your keyboard) is an open invitation to access your information. If you absolutely find it impossible to remember your password, write down a hint instead of the actual password. 
     
  • Choose a Strong Password
    • Make it at least 8 characters. The longer the better. 

    • Avoid common words and proper names. 

    • Use both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. 

    • Try a passphrase instead: When I was 7, my dog Dolly went to Heaven. (Not every system will accept passphrases; when in doubt, try it out.) The odds against anyone cracking it even with the help of a supercomputer are astronomical. 

    • Make your passphrase original. 

    • Don't use familiar or famous quotations. 

    • Don't use any real names especially your own, your family members, or your pets. 

    • Nonsensical passphrases are the hardest to crack. 

    • Change your password on a schedule. If you can't remember the last time you changed your password, it's time to change it!