Selecting a "Good" Password

UNIX (and Windows and MAC) security is predicated on users choosing good passwords and exercising common sense with them.

  • do not share your passwords
  • change them every 3 to 6 months
  • most importantly, maintain different password for each system (StatSci, ACPUB, gmail, banking) that you have access to.

A good password should:

  • be easy to type
  • be easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess or crack
  • be 6 to 8 characters long (preferably 8)
  • not consist of dictionary words, names, etc.
  • contain at least two non-alphabetical characters
  • utilize unusual capitalization, misspellings, characters/symbols, etc.

Example Passwords

Use a common word as a seed for a password

  • by itself, hotdog makes a horrible password
  • apply some of the tricks above (capitalization, punctuation, and misspellings)
  • result, a much better password: H0t!daWg

Alternatively you can use a phrase to generate a password

  • I Love To Eat Hotdogs Everyday.
  • take the first letters: iltehe
  • apply capitalization and substitute punctuation/numbers for letters: Il2e!E

How do I change my Duke Statistics password?

Use the passwd command on any Duke Statistics Unix workstation.