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What is a Secure Password?

Basics

Secure passwords are needed for all university password services: LAN and Kerberos.  This quicknote will assist in creating a secure password.

We have also found a website that discusses secure passwords that might be helpful to review if you are having difficulty setting your password. The information on this site is provided by Microsoft.  http://www.microsoft.com/protect/fraud/passwords/create.aspx

Some suggestions in this quicknote were borrowed from SIS and the Ann Arbor Kerberos password help website.

General Guidelines

Ann Arbor has recently changed their criteria for creating a secure password for your Kerberos or LAN account.  The following are the general restrictions:

  • Use 12 or more characters
  • Do NOT use plain dictionary words
  • Do NOT use personal information or your uniqname
  • Include all of the following categories:
    • Lowercase letters
    • Uppercase letters
    • Numerals
    • Punctuation (? . !)

Prohibited Passwords

The university has very strict password restriction policies.  These policies are in place to keep your information as secure as possible.  The following passwords or password segments are restricted when setting your LAN or Kerberos Password.

 Words  Number Sequences Symbols 
  • changeme
  • password
  • start
  • computer
  • internet
  • ihavenopass
  • godblessyou
  • administrator
  • goblue
  • 12345678
  • 00000000
  • 11111111
  • 22222222
  • 33333333
  • 44444444
  • 55555555
  • 66666666
  • 77777777
  • 88888888
  • 99999999
  •  #
  • (
  • )
  • |
  • <
  • >
  • `
  • ;
  • =
  • blank space

It is also advisable to avoid any password with personal information:

  • Birthdate, name, home town, or mother’s maiden name
  • Childhood nickname, pet’s name, or favorite cartoon character
  • Driver’s License, phone, address, license plate, social security number, or PIN numbers

Password Creation Methods

It is always suggested that the longer and more cryptic the password is better, however at times these passwords are hard to remember.  A solution to this problem is to scramble the lettering of passwords with a combination of letters/symbols/numbers.

Common Letter/Symbol/Number Variations

Some variations have overlapping symbols/numbers/letters.  It is entirely up to you as to which variation you wish to use for your passwords, but keep in mind that these are suggestions.  Feel free to use your own variations for your passwords

 Letter  Symbol  Number
a  @   2, 4
b  &  6, 8
d    0
e    3
g    6, 9
i  !  1
 l  !  1, 7
o  @  0
p    9
q    9
r    2
s  $  5
 t    7
 z    2

Result

 Plain Text  Cryptic Password
 thisisapassword 7h1s1S@9@$$w0rD
 service_notsupported s3rv1c3_n07Su990rt3D

These examples are provided to be used as examples only.  Do not set either your LAN or Kerberos passwords to these examples.


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