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Password Use and Selection

The Department of Defense Password Management Guideline, CSC-STD-002-85 provides Official DoD guidance in regards to passwords. Some suggestions are provided by reading further...

There are a variety of ways of protecting the data in any system. Controlling who has access to the data is the first, closely followed by controlling where and how the data is stored, then by controlling when and how the data can be modified. Computerized data systems often employ all of these controls, but providing access control through the use of passwords is the most common. Passwords are sequence of letters, numbers, and special characters which act as keys to give individual users access to computer services such as electronic mail.

Unfortunately, passwords, like bank card PIN codes, are inherently unsafe. Even if the password has been properly selected, it still runs a risk of being stolen or otherwise lost and misused. Anyone who discovers your password has access to anything you have access to on the computer system. It is important, therefore, to select a password carefully, update it regularly, protect it as well as you can, and notify the proper authorities (usually your system manager) when you suspect that it has been compromised or lost.

Preventing loss

Preventing someone else gaining access to your accounts via your password is basically a matter of using common sense:

Selecting a Password

Very simple methods have been found for thinking up passwords. Numeric characters can be somewhat difficult to include, but a special number can be used to prefix or suffix a password. For example, if you are in your twenties, you could put a 2 before or after your password. Some other methods include:

The list of possibilities is endless: Book Titles, Authors, Movie Stars etc.

These methods often result in a password which is easy to remember. If you use the author of a book, all you have to do is have the book in a certain place on your shelf. You could even put a post-it note on the spine without writing on it so you know which book it is. The same method can be used with albums or even the title of a newspaper article on your wall.