Password Policy

BHSU Password Policy

If your computer is attached to the network or your account is on a machine on the network or Internet, someone else on the network can have their computer test hundreds of password combinations against yours every second. This is called "brute-force" password cracking, and the best protection against it is a strong password.

Choosing a Strong Password

A strong password is as long as possible. Always use at least eight characters in your password. The longer the password, the more difficult it is to attack with a brute-force search.
Strong passwords have the following characteristics:

  • Use both upper and lower case letters.
  • Use digits and/or punctuation characters as well as letters.
  • Use something easy to remember, so they do not have to be written down.
  • Are a minimum of eight characters long.

Try using phrases for strong passwords, for example:

  • Can be typed quickly, so someone else cannot look over your shoulder and learn it.
  • L3tS1ppgDg5La - Let Sleeping Dogs Lay.
  • D0tfxwT15ntBrk - Don't fix what isn't broken.

A Strong Password is Not:

  • Personal information such as your name, phone number, social security number, birth date or address.
  • Even names of friends or animals should not be used.
  • Any word in the dictionary, or based closely on such a word.
  • A word with letters simply replaced by digits. For example, pa55w0rd is not a strong password.
  • Easy to spot while you're typing them in.
  • Passwords like 12345, qwerty (i.e., all keys right next to each other), or pppppp should be avoided.
  • Even if your passwords are strong, NCS recommends you change them approximately every four months.
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Black Hills State University

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Helpful Hints

A virus is a program that can "infect" programs by modifying them to include a possibly evolved, copy of itself. A computer can become infected by files downloaded over a network, or by the installation of new software or floppy disks that are infected with viruses. Some viruses are only pranks, and perform harmless actions like displaying a screen with a joke message on it. Others can destroy files or wipe out a hard drive.

Learn more about protecting your computer…