Information Technology Services

Policy & Requirements for Password Management

To protect your online identity at Alfred University and the security of confidential electronic information to which you may have access, it is important that all network users have a secure password and change it regularly. It is the users responsibility to safeguard their passwords and not share them with others.

Faculty, Staff and Students are required to change their password the first time they use their AU Login ID and at least once every 240 days following the guidelines below.

Please do not use automatic logon programs or the password “remember” features of browsers. These programs typically store your passwords in a file on your computer and even if encrypted are not as secure as remembering your password yourself.

Procedures for Password Security

Passwords must:

  • Be at least 10 characters in length.
  • Have at least three of the four combinations of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation symbols.
  • Be easy to remember so you don’t have to write them down.
  • Be able to be typed quickly without looking at the keyboard, making it harder for someone to observe your password looking over your shoulder.

Passwords should not:

  • Contain your login name in any form.
  • Contain your first or last name in any form.
  • Contain your spouse’s, child’s or pet’s name.
  • Contain other common information about you including social security number, telephone number, license plate number, street or office address, etc.
  • Contain more than two characters repeated in a row (eeaassyy) or two consecutive characters (abc123).
  • Contain a word found in English or foreign dictionaries.
  • Be shorter than 10 characters.
  • Be changed to the same password or be re-used more frequently than every third password change.

Suggestions for creating a secure password:

  • Make up a unique sentence and use the first letter of each word in the sentence. Then insert a number or punctuation. For example, “See Dick run in the grass!*(” could make the password: SD,r1tg!*(
  • A similar method is to take a line from your favorite book or song and use the first letter of each word. For example, “To be or not to be, that is the question” could become Tbon2B,tIt?
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