Creating a Strong Password

Account passwords are crucial in the protection of CNM's information, systems, and networks.

Passwords  provide a first-line defense against an attack by a hacker. A strong password provides protection for you and CNM.


Password Requirements

You will be required to change your password every 365 days, or if a compromise to your account is suspected. Protect your password at all times.

Requirements for your CNM password:

  • Must be a minimum of 8 characters
  • Contain at least three of the following:
    • uppercase letters
    • lowercase letters
    • numbers
    • symbols

New passwords cannot:

  • Repeat your current password
  • Reuse your last 14 passwords
  • Contain your name or CNM username

Pick Passwords You Can Remember

Choose a password that you can remember so that you don’t need to write it down.

Select a phrase.

  • Mary had a little lamb

Add a capital L, numbers and a special character to increase its strength.

  • Mary1had a Littlelamb.5

This phrase is easy to remember and more secure by adding the numbers (1 and 5), capitalizing a letter (L), omitting a space (between Littlelamb), and including the special character(.).

Some other versions:

  • MaryhadalittleL
  • 2Mary hadalittle
  • M*a*r*yHad4little&lamb

Customize Your Password

If your password is derived from a source like a well-known song, expression, or slogan, be sure to customize it with a misspelling, numbers, special characters, mnemonics, made-up words.

Introduce silent characters into the word (i.e., Va7ni9lla) or intentionally misspell words (i.e., Choklutt – for chocolate).

Consider including the following in your password:

  • embedded extra characters in a word
  • misspelled words (i.e., buckarew or bonzaye)
  • unusual capitalization
  • concatenation of two or more words or parts of words
  • one word in the middle of another, or interleave the letters of two words

Avoid Confidential Information

Do not use any personal identification type of information in your passwords.

Do not include:

  • your name or the name of anyone close to you, including pets
  • the name of the operating system you’re using
  • the hostname of your computer
  • your phone number
  • your license plate number
  • any part of your social security number
  • your birthday or the birthday of anyone close to you
  • other information that is easily obtained about you
  • any username on the computer in any form
  • password of all the same letter
  • simple patterns on the keyboard

  • Password Safety

    Be careful when typing your password around other people. If you suspect your password has been compromised, change your password immediately.

    Here are some things to avoid:

    • Don't share or tell anyone your password. Be aware of social engineers, someone trying to trick you into giving them your password.
    • Don't send your password via email, even in response to a request, no matter how official that request appears.
    • Don't respond to a request to go to a link to provide your password.
    • Don't store your passwords on your computer. If Windows or a browser prompts you to save password, don't do it.

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