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Passwords 101

Password graphic


by Mark Liggett, Senior IT Security Analyst

Passwords are an important aspect of computer security. They are the front line of protection for your banking, email, bills and other online accounts. A poorly chosen password may result in the compromise of your account and identity. Tulane’s Information Security Office has outlined several easy to remember points and tools for you to use to protect your digital and personal identity.

Password Creation

The following password guidelines are based upon experience and common sense. The software you use will generally screen for these requirements when you create your account or change your account. Your password should:

  • Not be a word in a dictionary
  • Not be the same as the user ID
  • Not be easily obtainable information about you such as your license plate number, social security number, telephone number, or street address
  • Be at least eight characters in length
  • Contain at least one numeric character
  • Be in mixed case (upper- and lower-case letters) Special characters are useful to strengthen your password. Examples are $. , ! % ^*

Password Protection

If someone demands a password, refer them to this document or have them contact the Information Security Office at . Tulane University will NEVER ask for your password.

  • Don't reveal a password over the phone to ANYONE
  • Don't reveal a password in an e-mail message
  • Don't reveal a password to your supervisor/professor
  • Don't talk about a password in front of others
  • Don't hint at the format of a password (e.g., "my family name")
  • Don't reveal a password on questionnaires or security forms
  • Don't use the same password for multiple accounts
  • Don't share a password with family members
  • Don't reveal a password to others while you are on vacation
  • Don’t use the "Remember Password" feature of applications – this is the Easy Button to steal your password(s) and harm your digital life.

There is no reason to stress about your password and having multiple different passwords. If you use a known and trusted password management system like LastPass ( you can create and manage different passwords easily and securely without having to use the Forgot Password link.  


Monday, April 24, 2017 - 09:35