A strong password is the first line of defense for an individual computer user's account. Follow these guidelines to keep your account and NCAR computers secure.
You can generally create strong, memorable passwords or passphrases by building acronyms from a phrase or sentence or stringing multiple random words together with both uppercase and lowercase letters. Mix symbols and numbers inside the words, not just between them or at the ends.
Longer is stronger, so the preference is to use more characters rather than more symbols.
Good passwords should:
Good passwords do not contain:
For example, the following are equally ineffective:
Hackers are well aware of all these tricks and can easily break such passwords.
Keep your password private. Use a password manager if possible. Written password hints should be secured from view. For example, do not write a password or hint on a white board, especially where it can be seen by a webcam.
* NCAR/UCAR staff members can use the Staff Support portal to request installation of an approved password manager application. University users should check with their own system administrators.