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Password Best Practices

CIS Staff

April 1, 2008

Did you know there is a one-stop-shopping location for UNH and USNH accounts? Making yourself familiar with http://accounts.unh.edu will ensure that you know everything there is to know about maintaining your accounts and keeping your passwords secure.

If you have locked yourself out of an account, forgotten your password or just want to know where you can go to reset a password, visit http://accounts.unh.edu and select the type of account with which you need help. Each account will have directions on how and where to reset your password and how to get help if you have forgotten your password or locked yourself out of an account.

Secure passwords are the key to keeping information safe. Many UNH employees handle sensitive data and securing your passwords will protect that data as well as your own. Remember, you are not just protecting yourself! CIS Accounts has put together the following Do’s and Don’ts to help guide you on your way to safe computing:



  • Change your password as soon as you receive a UNH account.
  • Regularly change your passwords. Change your passwords at least every 6 months. Try not to use variations on your old password.
  • Immediately change your password if you expect another person has access to your account, or knows your password.
  • Create a password that you can remember.
  • Use a strong password. See Methods for Creating a Strong Password below for some helpful hints.


  • DON’T put your username and password on a post-it note under your keyboard.
  • DON’T share your passwords. You cannot control what other people may do with your account, and you are ultimately responsible for what your account is used for. Also be aware that a UNH System Administrator or (authority figure) will never ask you for your password.
  • DON’T write down your username and password in the same place.


Methods for Creating a Strong Password

CIS Accounts recommends that you use your MyUNH/ Blackboard password whenever possible. The password requirements for this system ensure the creation of a strong password.

  • Length: Your passwords should be a minimum of 7 characters. Each letter you add to your password makes it exponentially more difficult to crack.
  • Combinations: Using letters, numbers, and symbols can make passwords much harder to guess. Take for example: “unhW;ldC@t$.”
  • Use the entire keyboard: Use both common symbols as well as less common ones in your password, such as (?!#*).
  • Use pass phrases: Use a pass phrase that is easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess. “Dr. Mark Huddleston is the 19th President of UNH” can be “DMHit19PoUNH”
  • Check your password: You can check the strength of your password at: http://www.microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/checker.mspx.

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