Information Technology

Passwords

Tips for Better Passwords

Passwords are the keys to the kingdom. Once someone knows your password, they can potentially access all of your personal information and use it to steal your identity. Passwords are a common form of authentication and are often the only thing protecting your personal information. There are several programs attackers can use to help guess or "crack" passwords, but by choosing good passwords and keeping them confidential, you can make it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access your information.

Your UMass Boston password gives you access to numerous services, including email, WISER, HR Direct (for employees), Blackboard, blogs, and the university's Wi-Fi network. For this reason, you should take the required steps to create strong passwords and protect your password (CONFIDENTIALITY is the key).

Tips for good passwords

For a lot more information on passwords, visit the World Password Day website, where you can learn what makes a good password  and play a game where you destroy incoming invaders by typing their passwords.

How to create a strong password?

How to create a BAD password

There are bad passwords (like "DrWhoFan1") and really terrible passwords, like password or 123456, which large numbers of people have actually used. Here are some rules not to follow:

Here are some more, less obvious things to avoid:

But no matter how complicated your password is, it doesn't matter if you tell the hacker what the password is (phishing) or get infected with malware. Follow safe computing practices and keep your password to yourself.

And once you've mastered passwords, think about your security questions. Try resetting your password and as you answer the questions, think about how many people could easily guess them. Do any of them use information someone could find on your blog or Facebook page? Maybe it's time to change your security questions and answers as well!

For more information

For more information and tips, contact the IT Service Desk at 617.287.5220 or ITServiceDesk@umb.edu.