It is absolutely necessary to choose a strong password to make sure that no one can decipher and decrypt your files. If you password based on a word from a dictionary or is short in length you are definitely putting yourself in a jeopardy. Anyone who would try to decrypt your files might run a dictionary check and then decrypting your files would be a matter of days. It is recommended that you use a long password containing numbers and non-dictionary characters, like “#”, “%” for example. In other words “password” is a bad choice for a password and “MN*ba5^001mqlw” is a good one.
Complexity vs. Password Length
Adding special characters to your password increases its complexity. This also makes passwords harder to hack but comes at the expense of making them harder to remember. When choosing between adding special characters or adding length to your password, longer passwords always win – they are stronger and more user-friendly than shorter passwords of greater complexity.
Picking a Passphrase
Passwords should be memorable, but not easily guessed. ITS recommends that you create a passphrase that is easy for you to memorize by combining a set of simple, unrelated words. You could simply choose words that you think of to create a passphrase; but a passphrase that is made from an unrelated series of words is inherently more secure because it is less likely to be guessed or cracked using brute force techniques.
And do not forget there rules about using the passwords:
1. Do not write your password anywhere
2. Do not tell anybody your password
3. Do not select weak password. Do not select password as a dictionary word, “12345”, “password” etc. Use digits, symbols and capital letters in the password.
4. When you choose password make sure it can not be guessed
5. If you suspect that someone might know your password change it.
6. Make sure that no one is looking over your shoulder when you enter the password.
Choosing a Strong Password
Passwords for your UNCG computing accounts are used to access many UNCG services, as well as your personal files, email, etc. So choosing a strong password and keeping it safe is important.
Longer Passwords Are Stronger
UNCG password policy requires the use of passwords between 16-30 characters. Passwords of this size may sometimes be referred to as “passphrases.” Passphrases can be easier for you to remember, while being more difficult for an attacker to guess.
In general, the longer your password is, the harder it is to be “hacked” (guessed or determined by password-hacking software). In fact, as you move from, say, an eight-character to a 16-character password, the length of time it would take a hacker to determine your password grows exponentially.