Password Safety

The UWSP Campus Network is a valuable resource that we must all protect.

Security - we think about it in terms of our Nation, our Finances, our Homes and our Children.  Unfortunately we must also think about it in the realm of the UWSP network.  Each individual can play a part in protecting this resource and their own identity.

Your network logon provides access to university on-line resources and services.  We need to guard that. Your network logon provides access to your e-mail and your identity. We need to guard that. Your network logon may provide access to sensitive and legally protected information. We need to guard that.

How Are UWSP passwords kept secure?

  1. They are changed regularly. All campus network users are required to change their passwords twice a year. You are prompted to do so, via an email reminder. Change itself increases security. Some systems require monthly password changes, and many Universities require changes every 90 days, but we are developing our systems around a more reasonable twice a year change.
  2. All passwords must be at least 12 characters long and must include a combination of letters, numbers and/or special characters. Password examples are provided below under "Tips for Strong Passwords".
  3. Passwords cannot include your first and last name or any part of your UWSP logon name.
  4. You cannot reuse a recent password.

Security on the campus network is a shared concern and shared responsibility of all campus network users.  Here are some things you can do to help protect your UWSP password.

  1. Don't share your password with anyone. 
  2. Don't reveal your password in an email message.
  3. Don't reveal your password on any forms hardcopy or online.

Tips for Creating Strong Passwords

To know what makes a password "good" or "safe," it is important to know what makes a password "weak" or "unsafe."

A bad password is one that is easily guessed by a stranger, a friend, or a computer program. Examples of weak passwords are

  • Using your LogonID or your full account name
  • License plate numbers
  • Dates
  • Words found in any dictionary, including languages other than English, slang, jargon, abbreviations, proper names, etc.
  • Combinations of dictionary words
  • Dictionary words spelled backwards
  • Numbers
  • Any personal information

What is left? With all of these restrictions, it is still possible to come up with a password that is easy to remember, yet cryptic enough not to be guessable.

One of the most popular ways to select a good password that is easily remembered is to use phrase or quote that is based on something you are familiar with and be creative to make the password complex.  Here are a few examples:

  • IluvW1sc0ns1n! - "I love Wisconsin"
  • G$veMEaBre@k" - "Give me a Break"
  • 4score+7ya - "Four score and seven years ago"
  • 10+12equals22 (instead of 101222)

Contact Information

If you have questions about password security, please contact the Service Desk.