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Account Help and Password Best Practices

CIS Staff

October, 2008

AccountsComputing and Information Services Accounts Administrators have created a one-stop shop for UNH and USNH accounts. Please visit accounts.unh.edu to learn more about applying for an account, maintaining your accounts, and keeping your passwords secure.

If you have locked yourself out of an account, forgotten your password or need to reset a password, visit accounts.unh.edu and select the type of account with which you need help. Each account page will have directions on how and where to reset your password as well as information on how to get help if you have completely forgotten your password or locked yourself out of an account.

Secure Passwords
Secure passwords are the key to keeping information safe. Many UNH employees handle sensitive data, and creating secure passwords helps 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:

Do’s

  • Change your password as soon as you receive a UNH account.
  • Regularly change your passwords. Change your passwords at least every six 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’ts

  • 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 all uses of your account.
  • UNH System Administrators and the CIS Help Desk will never ask you for your password. Do not divulge your password to anyone claiming to be CIS staff.
  • DON’T write down your username and password in the same place.
  • DON’T base your password on a dictionary word from any language. Dictionary words make passwords easier to guess.

Methods for Creating a Strong Password

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

  • Length: Your passwords should be a minimum of seven 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.”
  • Strength: Go to microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/checker.mspx to check your password’s strength.

For more information or questions regarding any UNH or USNH account, please visit accounts.unh.edu or call the CIS Help Desk at 862-4242.