Security Awareness

Password Best Practices

FAU is committed to the highest integrity in securing its IT environment. Your FAU username or your FAU NetID and your password is the university's standard for authentication for most information systems.

FAU requirements for passwords

  • must be 8-30 characters in length
  • must contain a mix of letters and digits (at least 1 of each)>
  • Must not contain an @, $ or &
  • Passwords must be changed ever 180 days
  • Passwords should not be repeated

Recommendations for a secure password

  • Use a combination of capital and lower case letters, numbers and symbols (eg., !  #  % ^  + - )
  • Never use your username as your password
  • Never use any form of your name, pet's name or other name associated with you
  • Never use a word found in the dictionary
  • Change your password regularly, at least every 180 days

To keep your computer and accounts secure

  • Use password-protected screen savers (on a PC, go to Start --> Control Panel --> Display; select the Screen Saver tab, and check the box for "On resume password protect").
  • When you leave your desk, lock your computer (ctrl-alt-del) or logoff so it is protected by your password when you are away
  • Do not place your password on a sticky-note taped to your monitor, under your keyboard, or in your desk
  • Do not share your password

Examples of good passwords

b%0m#Ber! 
Variation of "bomber" that uses combination of punctuation and numbers for letters

T*x4#M8n 
More than 6 characters; numbers, punctuation, and mix of upper and lower case letters

 j#T%Pl4Ne 
Two words, separated by punctuation, using upper and lower case letters, and numeric substitution