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A strong password is your first line of defense when protecting your information. It is important to develop a password that is easy for you to remember, but not easy for someone else to guess. Developing a good password takes some thought. Do you have a strong password?
All employees are invited to register for Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to increase their privacy and security. This added layer of security will help decrease account compromises and identity theft, and provide real-time alerts for password protection. Visit the 2FA website to learn more.

Standards for a strong password

  • At least eight characters in length – the longer it is, the stronger it is
  • Contains numeric characters alternating with alphabetic characters
  • Includes symbols such as: !, @, (, $, %, ^, &, *, ) and # whenever the site or system allows
    ! might serve as an l and $ might serve as an S
  • Contains both upper and lowercase letters in alternating format
  • Does not contain any portion of your name, address, date of birth, SSN, login ID, nickname, family member names, pet name, sports team name or word that appears in a dictionary spelled forward or backward
  • Avoids reference to the work place or work responsibilities such as “college1”, “Rockville”, “pa$$word”, or “c0mputer”

A pass phrase helps create strong, easy to remember passwords

An easy way to create a strong password is to use an easy to remember phrase that is important to you. This phrase can be from a movie, book, song or a saying.  Make sure it is not so important that it is easy to associate with you.


Phrase: One day I hope to be a millionaire!
Password: 1DiH2BaM!

Phrase: When angry, count to ten; when happy, whistle!
Password: wAct10;wHw!

Notice that we use the first letter of every word and convert the letters by substituting numbers, lower and upper case and special characters. Make sure it is more than eight characters long.

Guidelines for keeping passwords safe

  • Never reveal or share your password.
  • Never write passwords down or conceal them near a workstation.
  • Change passwords periodically (at least every six months) and never reuse.
  • Use unique passwords for every account – especially the important ones!
  • Change passwords immediately if an account or password is suspected to have been compromised.
  • Do not save passwords in your browser no matter how convenient.
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