A strong password prevents big headaches.
1. Creating a password
A strong password is composed of 8 to 14 characters and includes at least three of the following:
- lowercase unaccented letters (a-z);
- uppercase unaccented letters (A-Z);
- figures (0-9);
- other characters (!#$*+=.:;_-@<>&()?/%,).
A weak password contains fewer than eight characters and:
- names, surnames, initials;
- personal information (birth date, child’s name, dog’s name, etc.);
- usernames or words spelled backwards;
- repeated characters or obvious sequences (12345678, azerty, abcdef, etc.).
You can test the validity of your password.
Password creation method:
Think of an easy-to-remember phrase and use only the first letters of each word and/or single numbers and letters that sound like whole words, for example: ‘I ate to fill my empty stomach’ renders the password ‘i82fmMTs’.
2. Password management
A password must never:
- be saved on your computer;
- be written down, taped to the screen or on/under the keyboard;
- be shared;
- remain the same for more than six months.
A new password must differ from your current password.
Use different passwords for different uses. For example, do not use your UCL password for non-UCL services.
Do not use the same password everywhere. Cybercriminals steal passwords from poorly protected sites, then try to use the same passwords and usernames in more secure environments, such as financial websites.