NOTIFICATION: [various emails will continue to be sent to notify users of changes]

Suggested Practices

Microsoft offers the following advice regarding password best practices:

 

Always use strong passwords.  [NOTE:  do not use special characters i.e. <, > ?#$%^&*()!@ etc.]

If passwords must be written down on a piece of paper, store the paper in a secure place and destroy it when it is no longer needed.

Never share passwords with anyone.

Use different passwords for all user accounts.

Change passwords immediately if they may have been compromised.

Be careful about where passwords are saved on computers. Some dialog boxes, such as those for remote access and other telephone connections, present an option to save or remember a password. Selecting this option poses a potential security threat.

 

 

Strong and Weak Passwords

Again, from Microsoft:

 

A weak password:

Is no password at all.

Contains your user name, real name, or company name.

Contains a complete dictionary word. For example, Password is a weak password.

 

A strong password:

Is at least seven characters long.

Does not contain your user name, real name, or company name.

Does not contain a complete dictionary word.

Is significantly different from previous passwords. Passwords that increment (Password1, Password2, Password3 ...) are not strong.

Contains characters from each of the following four groups: upper case letters; lower case letters; numerals

 

 

 

 

You can visit Microsoft's Password Checker to evaluate the relative strength of your password:

 

http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/checker.mspx