Choosing and Using Strong Passwords - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Choosing and Using Strong Passwords

The following password requirements are from the IMSA Information Technology System Policy.

The following password requirements are from the IMSA Information Technology System Policy.

  • All user-level passwords must be changed periodically. (The current change interval is six months.)
  • Passwords must be a minimum of eight (8) characters long.
  • Passwords must be a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters (!@#$%^&*, etc.).
  • Passwords may not be reused within a cycle of six changes.
  • Passwords must not be a word that appears in any dictionary in any language, forwards or backwards, or any word of slang or jargon.
  • Passwords must not be shared between users, at any time, in any circumstance.
  • Passwords must not be written down and stored in insecure locations.

In addition, the following should help you to choose a strong password and keep it safe.

  • Passwords should not be based on personal information such as names of children, names of pets, birthdays, addresses, etc.
  • Even several dictionary words strung together can make for a weak password.
  • If you must write down your password, don’t keep it anywhere near your computer!
  • The use of a passphrase is strongly recommended.

    passphrase examples:

    • Pi~3point14 – pi equals approximately 3.14
    • MiD0g<Fleeez – my dog has fleas (zero, not "oh")
    • 1-step,1-LEEP – one small step, one giant leap