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Cornell University

Why Do I Have to Choose a Complex Password?

This article applies to: NetIDs

Your NetID and password control access to highly confidential data, some of which requires protection mandated by federal legislation. Tools for cracking simple passwords are readily available, so it is essential that your NetID password be strong to prevent unauthorized individuals from discovering it.

Complex passwords are akin to deadbolt locks on a door. Just as deadbolt locks are far more effective than standard locks in preventing break-ins, so are complex passwords far superior to simple passwords in protecting access to your information.

In 2002, the university auditor recommended that CIT implement technical measures to ensure that users choose secure NetID passwords. The criteria for what constitutes a secure password were developed as a result, along with the web-based method for selecting a password.


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