Best Password Practices
The Following Recommendations are to Help you Create and Protect your Passwords:
- DO NOT give out your password to anyone.
- If your passwords are written down on a piece of paper, make sure it is protected and placed in a secure area where no one else can see or access it.
- Your password must be between 8 and 20 characters in length and must contain letters, numbers, and special characters such as: ! @ # $ % & * ( ) - + = , > : ; " ..
- Your password cannot contain your first or last name, your date of birth, your social security number, or a Dictionary word.
- DO NOT use the "Remember Password" feature in applications (e.g., Eudora, OutLook, Internet Explorer, Chrome, FireFox, etc.).
- We recommend using Passphrases instead of passwords. They should be easy to remember, but difficult for other people to guess. To create a Passphrase, take a sentence (or a line from a song, etc.) and then replace some of the letters with numbers and special characters. You should also use some capital letters. For example, the phrase "I walk to the UTEP Library everyday before school" can be translated to "Iw2tUL#eb4S".
- It is recommended to change your password(s) often (every 90 days); however UTEP account passwords are required to be changed at least once a year unless you suspect that it may have been compromised.
- Always lock your computer, even if you step away for just a few minutes. To lock your system, press Control + Alt + Delete and choose "Lock Computer". Alternately, for Windows 8 or 10, you can press and hold the Windows Key (looks like a flag) + "L" key, to Lock your computer.
- For additional security, enable password protection on your screensaver. This feature locks your computer when the screensaver activates.
- Always make sure you LOG OUT of any computer system when you are finished using it.
- Turn your computer OFF at night when it's not in use. This makes it more difficult for any hackers to attempt to access your system.
- Use separate, different account passwords for personal and UTEP accounts.
*If you suspect your account is compromised change your password immediately.*
Remember that your password is the key to your personal information, and should be protected at all times. If you have further questions, please contact the Information Security Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.