Setting Strong Passwords

A strong password is one that considers the following attributes:

1.    Length. GVSU systems allow for varying lengths for passwords (Banner INB, Banner SSB, GVSU Network, etc.) Your password should be a minimum of 8 or more characters in length.
2.    Combination of characters. Use numbers, upper and lower case letters within your password.
3.    Use words or phrases that are easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess. Substitute numbers for letters.


Password Creation Do’s:

1.    Determine if the system you are creating the password for allows for pass phrases. The GVSU systems that are commonly used on campus have this ability. This would mean that the system allows for spaces between characters. Example being “My favorite movie is Top Gun with Tom Cruise.” Banner SSB only allows for up to 10 character passwords.  All other common GVSU systems allow for 20 or more characters.
2.    If the system does not support a pass phrase, convert the pass phrase to a password based on a sequence of characters from the pass phrase. If you took the first letter of each word from example #1, the password would be “mfmitgwtc.”
3.    Make the pass phrase or password more complex. Use upper and lowercase letters, add or substitute numbers, misspell words, and use special characters. The example from above might become “3f3!TgTc.”
4.    Protect passwords that are written down or electronically stored.
5.    Change your passwords regularly.


Password Creation Don’ts:

1.    Avoid repeating characters.
2.    Avoid names.
3.    Avoid birthdays.
4.    Avoid dictionary words.
5.    Avoid your login name or seasons with sequence numbers after it. Example “Fall2002”.
6.    Avoid using the same password for all accounts.
7.    Do not give your password to anyone.
8.    Do not send passwords via email.
9.    Do not type passwords on computers you do not control. Public computers can be loaded with keystroke logging applications to recover what others have typed.

What do you do if your password is stolen:

1.    Contact the Helpdesk immediately for all GVSU accounts
2.    Change your password
3.    Monitor your accounts if it is a home account

Page last modified September 27, 2013