In light of recent issues with the CCSD 46 email server and security, we are providing information on how to choose a safe password and why it is so important that you do so. This information is good for not only CCSD 46 staff, but also wise for community members to remember when using online services from home computers as well.
For more information visit these great sources:
Yahoo! Security Center
How do I choose my password?
The Official Google Blog
Does your password pass the test?
The Simplest Security: A Guide to Better Password Practices
Tips for creating a good password
How to Create a Good Password
Choosing a Safe Password
How to Choose a Secure Password
How to Create a Password You Can Remember
How to Choose a Secure and Hack-Proof Email Password
Why we need them and why they need to be good
If you've had trouble sending or receiving email in or out of the district, you are not alone!
A lot of research has been done this week on computer security, email, and the importance of a good, strong password. We all know passwords can be a nuisance. Especially having to remember multiple logins and passwords for the various systems and online sites that we all use on a daily basis.
The events of this past week, with the compromise of our email server, are a prime example of why it is so important to have a strong password.
One of the best analogies came from Yahoo's Security Center where they wrote, "A password is like a toothbrush: Choose a good one and don't share it." We'd go one step further and remind you to also "Change it often."
We, in CCSD 46, will be implementing several new security features, including hardware/software changes on the network level, and forcing password changes at the user level. What this means for you, the user, is that you will need to create some great passwords!
But what is a great password? Check out the links to the left, follow the tips below, and try out the password strength meter at the bottom when you are finished to see how strong your potential password is. It may surprise you!
- Avoid using a word. Common and even uncommon words are super easy to guess when used as passwords. Same with people's names, pet names, foreign language words, etc. If you are choosing a single word or phrase, it's not a good password.
- Use at least 8 characters. The longer the password, the better.
- Use a combination of letters, numbers, and characters. Non-repetitive letters, interspersed with numbers, and a few special characters (@ # $ & !) thrown in make great passwords! (We've found that using the asterisk * does not work in our passwords, so choose something other than the asterisk.)
- Avoid obvious code patterns. abc123, password1 and the like are too obvious even though the potential password has both letters and numbers.
- Do not use any part of your login. Using your first name or last name as part of your password will not be accepted.
Examples of ways to take a simple password and make it a great password: