Strong passwords protect your computer and personal information. Hackers often use ‘dictionary attacks’ to break passwords, trying every possible combination of characters.
Use these pages to learn how to create strong passwords you can also remember. Check our Safe Password Tips for more information about maintaining your password.
The following rules are required for your IT Account password. You can also use them for other passwords.
IT Account passwords:
Complex passwords are notoriously difficult to remember. We recommend that you develop your own system for tracking passwords.
For your IT Account password, store a word or phrase in SPIRE to help jog your memory in case you forget it:
Choose a theme for all your passwords (e.g., your passwords are always based on your favorite songs or movies). Decide on a few rules that you'll use to construct your passwords. For example:
Note: Please do not use this example. Hackers often try passwords available in reference materials.
Password managers such as KeePass, SplashID, 1Password or the Keychain feature for Mac OS X provide a central, secure location for all your passwords. Be careful, if you forget the master password or your computer breaks down, you will not be able to recover your passwords.
Note: UMass Amherst IT does not offer direct support for password storage software at this time.