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Home > Tutorials > Advice on choosing passwords
Take password security seriously. Remember that your password is the only method that you have to stop people from gaining access to your files. If somebody cracks your password it is possible for them to send email messages under your name. This may seem trivial but a defamatory message apparently sent by you to the Vice Chancellor or all staff may be very hard to explain and could be seriously damaging to you.
It is also possible for a cracker to publish to the web under your name this may also be very damaging depending on the nature of the images / text published. It is also possible for a cracker to delete your assignment and to use your printing credit.
The first rule is not to share passwords.
If you break this rule then change your password ASAP after the need for your friend to have access to you account ends. If your password is insecure then you are taking a serious risk.
When choosing a password, the goal is to make it as difficult as possible for someone to guess your password. If you do this, you have left a person who tries to break into systems, a "cracker," with no other alternative but to search through every possible combination of letters, numbers, and punctuation. A search of this sort, even conducted on a machine that could try one million passwords per second (most machines can try less than one hundred per second), would require, on the average, over one hundred years to complete. There are some simple guidelines, which if followed, would force a cracker to conduct such a search. Please take care not to use any of the examples used in this file as your password; "crackers" can read these files and may target specific examples.
Created: December 19, 2001
Last modified: December 9, 2003
Russell, R. (2003, December 9). Advice on choosing passwords. Retrieved December 9, 2003, from