What is a good password strength policy and why should I use one?

14Jan09

A typically sound password strength policy should require a mix of Upper and lower case alpha characters OR one of the cases with at least one number, AND a special character, like an exclamation point!

Here are a couple of examples of passwords that would pass the policy referenced above:

  • ftff6485! – Meets the requirement with all lower case and numbers, and a special character
  • Ecirpmij! – Meets the requirement with upper and lower case, and a special character. 

Regarding password length, the minimum number of characters for a password should be six (6) characters, although the more characters that are used, the stronger the password will be.  Fourteen (14) characters is considered to be normal for the maximum.
 
It may seem a little tedious, but strong passwords virtually eliminate unwanted entry into your system.  The other “gotcha “ is users sharing passwords.

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