Building a Better Password - NIU - Division of Information Technology

      

   

Accounts & Passwords

Building a Better Password

A good password cannot be guessed by someone who has personal information about you and is complex enough that sophisticated programs have difficulty cracking it. 

A good password:

  • Is 12 or more characters long
  • Contains at least 1 uppercase letter, more is better
  • Contains at least 1 lowercase letter, more is better
  • Contains at least 1 special character like : - + , ~ ` ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) = _ ‘ “ { } [ ] | \ ? / : ; > < , more is better
  • Contains at least 1 number, more is better
  • Does not include the same character in a consecutive sequence; for example: aaa111bbb

To check the strength of your password: Microsoft Safety & Security Center password checker

Password Don'ts

  • Don't write your password down.
  • Don't give your password to anyone – NIU will never ask for your password.
  • Don't create new passwords that are similar to the ones you have used (for example, incrementing by a character or a 1).
  • Don't use any of the following for your password:
    • Any name or combination of names (yourself, family, pets etc..)
    • Your phone number or license plate number.
    • Any part of your social security number.
    • Your AccountID or Z-ID.
    • Your birth date or the birth date of any friend or relative.
    • Any other information that might be easily obtained about you, such as your address, job title, city in which you were born, or alma mater. 
    • An acronym or any technical term.
    • Any name or word spelled backwards.

Additional Information