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Security

At Vermont Secondary College, you identity yourself to the computer system when you login to access your Outlook Web AppMoodleeWorkSpace, Remote Access to H: drive, applications etc. Your username tells the computer who you are; your password proves that you are who you say you are. Like the PIN on your bank teller card, your password is the key to your computer account. You must always keep it secret. If you suspect your password has been compromised or lost/forgotten, notify a computer support staff person in Room C22 (ext 245).

If someone else knows, or is able to guess, your password, then the computer system has no way of telling them apart from you. They can gain access to your resources, delete your files, or cause mischief in your name. You may be held responsible for their actions.

How to choose a password

Password security isn't just a matter of thinking up a nice word and keeping it to yourself. You must choose a password which will be difficult for someone else to guess or crack.

DOs
DON'Ts
  • at least 7 characters long
  • mixture of uppercase, lowercase, digits and special characters eg !@#$%^&*()_{}[]|\/?<>,.
  • change regularly eg every month
  • use words/numbers that can be associated with you eg nickname, username, birthdays
  • use names/words/phrases found in a dictionary/atlas etc
  • write password down on paper / PDA / mobile phone etc
  • let anyone see what you are typing as you enter your password eg over your shoulder
  • give anyone else access to your account

Examples of strong and weak passwords

Password
Comments
Gi1raf2fE
Strong password using "giraffe" with a combination of uppercase & lowercase letters
Jup1T+Er
Strong password using "jupiter" with a combination of uppercase & lowercase letters, number and symbol
eV_rE.1a
Strong password using "everyone" with a combination of uppercase & lowercase letters, special characters and number - easy to remember but hard to guess
OpenSesame
Weak password - a common phrase
fred
Weak password - name associated with the user and only 4 characters
marias
Weak password - for user marias as it is the same as username
28april82
Weak password - it may be a date associated with the user
bees
Weak password - a common word and only 4 characters
password
Weak password - a common word

 

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