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A password is a string of characters that is used to authenticate your identity and grant access to a system or service. Strong and unique passwords are essential for the security of your University of Exeter IT account.

Key takeaways

  • If you forget your password, you can reset it using the Self-Service Password Reset tool.
  • To change your password or view the minimum password requirements, you can go to Change your password.
  • You should use strong "pass-phrases" instead of passwords because they are hard to guess, difficult to brute force, and easy to remember.
    • A passphrase should still be long, complex, and unique such as "I lik3 my coffEE W4rm!". If you know more than one language, you can mix words from different languages for additional protection.
    • Passphrases still need to meet the minimum password requirements. You should aim for at least 12 characters in length, uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers.

An illustration of a person looking at an obfuscated password with a question mark above their head

What makes a password strong?

  • Long
    Longer passwords are more difficult to compromise. Aim for at least 12 characters in length.
  • Complex
    Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers.
  • Unpredictable
    Avoid common words, phrases, or personal information that can be easily guessed or obtained.
  • Unique
    Use a different password for each account. If one password is compromised, the risk to other accounts is much lower.

Password best-practices

  • Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
  • Use a trusted password manager such as Microsoft Authenticator. The password manager will automatically generate, remember, and fill strong passwords for each account so you only need to remember one password.
  • Change your passwords regularly.
  • Set up two multi-factor authentication (MFA) methods. Even if your password is compromised, it’s very difficult for an attacker to access your account.

You can find more information from SharePoint - Information Security Advice and Guidance and Change your password.