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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.