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Password Security

Do you ever feel like you have to keep track of more and more accounts, usernames, and passwords with each passing year? It's so overwhelming that sometimes it's tempting to create a password that the easiest to remember instead of the one that's the most secure.

As a member of the William & Mary community you should never forget that your password is safeguards for your privacy and personal information. The passwords that we all use to access College computing systems (email, Banner, Blackboard, etc...) should be as secure as possible.

What you can do
How you can create an effective password
  • Use at least eight characters.
  • Remove all the vowels from a short phrase. Example: llctsrgry ("All cats are gray")
  • Use an acronym. Choose the first or second letter of your favorite quotation. ("itsotfitd" for "It's the size of the fight in the dog")
  • Mix letters and non-letters in your passwords (numbers and punctuation characters on the keyboard).
  • Transform a phrase by using numbers or punctuation ("Idh82go" for "I'd hate to go" or "UR1drful" for "You are wonderful").
  • Avoid choosing a password that spells a word. But, if you must, then introduce "silent" characters into the word ("va7ni9lla").
  • Deliberately misspell the word or phrase ("choklutt").
  • Add random capitalization to your passwords. Capitalize any but the first letter. ("eIeIoH!" or "o.U.Kid")
  • Don't use your first, middle, or last name in any form.
  • Don't use a word contained in any dictionary. Masking these words by replacing letters with numbers is not sufficient protection.
  • Don't put non-alphabetic characters at the beginning or end of words. Passwords like 7laptop or rockiesx are easily guessed by password guessing programs.
Concerned about your password?

If you think someone may have been guessed, compromised, or shared your password, you should change it right now and [[support,alert the Technology Support Center]].