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Using strong passwords and a password manager

Passwords are a line of defense between your data and the outside world. Much like locking your door before leaving home, a strong password is vital for keeping your sensitive and personal data out of the hands of bad actors. With an ever-increasing landscape of online accounts, the average internet user might have over a hundred accounts. It can be tempting to re-use account credentials or make simple, easy to remember passwords. However, this can expose your account to attackers. Instead, using a password manager can keep your credentials secured in a central location for ease of use.

Tips for creating strong passwords

  • Plan for a minimum of 10 characters, using special characters, capital letters, punctuation, and numbers. Not sure if your password is long enough? Hive Systems updates their recommendations for password length yearly based on current technology being utilized by bad actors. 
    • Don't use predictable passwords such as passw0rd, 12345, or test1.  
    • This includes obvious connections to the company or brand. For example, don't use bobcat or Rufus as your OHIO password.  
    • Keyboard patterns also make weak passwords, such as qwerty or 1qaz2wsx 
  • Consider using a phrase instead of a word. Phrases make it easier to have long passwords and can be difficult to guess if you incorporate special characters.
  • Learn more about Ohio University's credentials policy and password requirements.

Safe password practices 

  • Make sure that no one can see you type your password, and that you are entering it into the correct field to prevent accidental exposure. 
  • Use memorable passwords. Don't make passwords so complicated you can't remember them, and don't write them down. 
  • Add multi-factor authentication to your accounts. Many services give you the option of using something in addition to a password to access your account, such as a mobile app or text message. This provides an additional layer of security if something were to happen to your password. 
  • Learn more about multi-factor authentication at OHIO.  

Don’t pass on password managers

Too many passwords to remember? Use a password manager. These tools will generate secure random passwords for your sites and store them in a central place. All you need to remember is the password you set for your password manager's account.  

Departments can acquire access to LastPass, a password manager used by Ohio University, for a fee of $40 per user per year.