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IT Security Project: Long password is strong password

Password security

An IT Security Project at the University is working to improve our protection from cyber threats. Many of the changes will not be visible to colleagues, but changes brought about by the project mean:

  • administrator rights on a computer/laptop will be limited to those with a business need
  • unsupported software will be upgraded or removed
  • all University Apple computers/handheld devices will be enrolled in a central management system in line with Windows devices.

Starting this week, we are launching an awareness campaign about what the staff and students at the University can do to support stronger cybersecurity.

Passwords seems to be the most obvious place to start with.

In 2004, Bill Gates said, “there is no doubt that over time, people are going to rely less and less on passwords. People use the same password on different systems, they write them down and they just don't meet the challenge for anything you really want to secure.

Fourteen years on and despite many efforts to replace passwords, they still play a huge part in how we manage our information and identify ourselves online.

Passwords aren’t perfect and they aren’t going away anytime soon, so what can you do to keep your information safe online? Password security plays a crucial role. Remember, the University can have the most robust security system in place, but if an attacker is in possession of your username and password, they can bypass it all.

Here are a few things to remember when creating a password:

  • When creating a password, choose something that is personally memorable but difficult for others to guess e.g. ‘iW0rk@th3UoR’ or ‘1_Luv_my_Hat’
  • Make your passwords long, complex and unique.
  • Never share your password with anyone.
  • If you have had your password stolen, change it and report it immediately. Better still, use a different password for the different accounts you have (work, bank, Amazon, Netflix etc.)
  • Consider using a password manager. This is the only reliable and convenient way to manage the many passwords that different services require

Your online security is important to us. Visit https://www.reading.ac.uk/cybersecurity/ for more information.

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