Password Security Tips

Your password on the Oakton network is your primary protection against unauthorized access. Remember that by choosing a good password and not sharing it, you are protecting not only your files but the network as a whole.

The requirements of an Oakton password are as follows:

  1. minimum of 9 alphanumeric characters (an only acceptable non-alphanumeric character is "-")
  2. must include at least one lowerCASE letter
  3. must include at least one number
  4. must NOT include any UPPERcase letters

Tips for Choosing an Oakton Password

Consider using a "passphrase," stringing together several mixed-case words, but with numbers inserted either randomly or as sound-alikes/look-alikes (two4thesh0w, 5eemslike0ldtimes).

While you want a password that will be easy to remember, you DO NOT want one easy for others to guess or hack—the longer and more complicated the password, the harder that will be. 

From a practical standpoint, remember that you will also have to type your password. The easier it is to type, the faster it is to type, and the less likely it is that someone watching nearby will be able to tell what keys you are pressing.

General Tips for Non-Oakton Passwords and Security

Many other systems which are not integrated with Oakton systems require less complex passwords than ours. The temptation may be to go with something simpler, but in this age of identity theft, a little paranoia cannot hurt.

Some examples of bad passwords (the types hackers will try first):

  • your social security number
  • your license plate number
  • your phone number
  • variations on your name or login ID
  • the name of your department or workgroup
  • the name of a close family member

Some others that are commonly discouraged:

  • any single word found in the dictionary spelled correctly.
  • a series of characters in the order they appear on a keyboard such as qwerty or asdfg.
  • a password of all digits or all letters
  • computer jargon

Password Security

The cleverest password in the world will not help you if you give it away.

  • You should never, ever write it down. Moreover, please do not leave it lying around or taped to your computer when you do.
  • If you need to share files with someone, do not give them your login and password. Everyone at Oakton now has his network account, and IT can set up shared directories for employees. Contact the IT Help Desk if you need special shared access.