Faculty, staff, and students have the privilege of utilizing College computer and network resources. Users may have a variety of computer accounts and passwords, many of which access important and sometimes confidential College information. It is imperative that these resources be managed with security and confidentiality in mind. Users must adhere to these general account password procedures:
- Faculty, staff and students are required to safeguard their passwords, being mindful of potential information security risks and taking appropriate steps to protect College resources. Confirmed or suspected compromises in informational security should be immediately reported to the IT Service Desk.
- Under no circumstances should account passwords ever be disclosed or shared with anyone. If multiple users need shared access to resources, IT can offer technical solutions that will afford such access without compromising system integrity.
- Passwords should never be written down or stored on a computer system where others might obtain it. Users are expected to change their password immediately if they know or suspect that it has been compromised.
- All user accounts must be protected by effective passwords. An effective password is both strong and protected. Your password must have at least 12 characters, uppercase and lowercase characters, and contain at least one number character or non-alphabetic character.
- Use of passphrases rather than traditional passwords is recommended. A passphrase is like a password, but longer and more secure. While passwords and passphrases essentially serve the same purpose, passwords are generally short, hard to remember and easier to crack. Passphrases are easier to remember and type. They are considered more secure due to the overall length of the passphrase and the fact that it shouldn’t need to be written down. Users should follow these tips for creating a good passphrase:
- Make up a sentence or a phrase that includes a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, special characters and punctuation.
- Include memorable “encoding” in the phrase. Think up a phrase. For example, "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom!". This can be used as the passphrase, or the first letter from each word can be used. This example includes punctuation to improve quality. The passphrase could be E'iTK.tutgdOF!.
- Use a favorite childhood memory, favorite foods, places, or experiences, etc., or a combination of these things. For example, "space camp MashedPotatoes4!" (a favorite childhood memory and favorite food) is a particularly strong passphrase.
- The College reserves the right to audit user passwords to ensure they meet current password security guidelines.