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Creating a Good Password

Passwords
Choosing the correct password, as well as informing and enforcing password security for users is an important task for the administrator. Security is built upon passwords, so close attention should be paid to making passwords an effective tool in security.

Aspects of a Good Password

1. 8 characters or more
2. use numbers in the password
3. use letters in the password
4. use case in the password
5. avoid dictionary words

These five aspects are critical because software programs can employ “brute force” tactics to try to guess passwords on your network. Using the five aspects above will make it more difficult to crack your passwords. Security usually begins with most systems at the user level. One of the most important aspects of user security is the user password. A lot of security can go down the drain with poor passwords that can be easily cracked. Several important elements of a user password are length of the password, randomness and the forced creation of new passwords at regular intervals. Most users resist all of these elements.

The length of a password is directly proportional to the ease at which it could be cracked. As a result all passwords should be at least 8 characters long. In addition, passwords should not be based on dictionary words, they should be random. One way to make secure passwords is to create passwords from phrases that are common to you. For example in the phrase ” I live at 101 Maple Street in Phoenix Arizona,” could be turned into the password
Ila101MiPA

This is a password built on the first letter of each word to create a secure password. Remember Linux is case sensitive.

Password Management allows you to force changes in the password or have the account be automatically disabled in a period of time. It is a good idea to force users to change their passwords at regular intervals. Of course this is even more important for administrator’s to do as well. The downside to this is that users forget their passwords if forced to change often making possibly a worse situation.

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  1. September 22, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    The key to a strong password is making it long.
    A password like wH3n1nr0m3! is stronger than ‘when in rome but when in rome i like to eat pizza’ is the strongest of all three.
    Here is a quick post on the topic: http://tinyurl.com/yqebur

    Hope it helps!

    Louise (Passpack)

  1. September 24, 2008 at 4:36 am

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