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Create a Complex Password

Complex passwords for use with a Managed Server.

This article applies to: Managed Servers


Passwords should be complex to be resistant to hackers. The Systems Support group has procedures in place to ensure that passwords are complex.

Password Check Methods

Because different operating systems have different requirements and capabilities, the method Systems Support uses to ensure strong passwords differs for machines with different operating systems. The current methods are:

  • Linux and Solaris 10: Passwords checked by a vendor supplied package.
  • Solaris 8 and 9: Passwords checked by a third-party package.
  • Windows: Passwords checked against standards set out in the Password Policy.

Password Tips and Strength Checker

  • Use the following criteria to create a secure password:
    • Passwords should be 8-20 characters long.
    • Passwords should not contain: your name, NetID, dictionary words, or simple patterns.
    • Passwords must include 3 of the following: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, special characters (!, @, #, $, etc.).
  • For general guidelines for choosing a secure password, see the Identity Management group's password page.
  • To check if your password meets Cornell standards for complexity, use the online Password Strength Checker.

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