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Almost every bit of private information about us is stored behind a password, so it's important to make sure that password is strong. We won't go into the math, but the longer your password and the more varied the character set (upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters), the more difficult it will be to guess or crack. Below are a few ways to have your password truly #ProtectYourPrivates

Don't Share It

It's a violation of the university's Acceptable Use Policy to share your EID password with anyone else. It's also likely a violation of the terms-of-use of your banking, shopping, and social media sites to share your passwords for these sites with others. Besides that, it's just a bad idea. Depending on the site or app, someone who has your password can impersonate you, change or delete your financial information, make purchases as you, or damage your reputation. The results are lost time, money, and embarrassment.

Use a Different Password for Each Account

Having various passwords makes it harder for cyber criminals to compromise your accounts. In the case that someone got a hold of one of your passwords, you can rest assured your other accounts are safe. Using a password manager will help you generate new unique passwords for each site you visit.
 

STRONG PASSWORDS

A quick way to construct a strong password is to use phrases. For example, "I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1999" can be translated into "igfTUoTaAi1999".

Here is a quick external guide on creating strong passwords.

Consider a Password Manager

Don't refrain from using various strong passwords because you have a bad memory. There are many programs, called password managers, which allow you to manage your passwords and sometimes offer integrated services such as password generators etc. The University of Texas at Austin has one available for all faculty, staff, and students to use named ‘Stache' (created by the Information Security Office). It can be accessed here. For personal use, take a look at the following password managers:

USE MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

 Multi-factor authentication adds another layer of defense to your information, many sites and services are now giving user the option to turn this feature on. This technology enables you to provide multiple pieces of information as authentication, in any combination of:

  • Something you know - your password.
  • Something you have - one-time-passcode or generated key.
  • Something you are - your fingerprint, voice, or iris.

The following websites are good resources for learning about and configuring multi-factor authentication: