Warren Wilson College, Asheville, North Carolina

Warren Wilson Computing Services

About Security

Our Network Systems Administrator works hard to insure that our system is a secure as possible, but the weakest part of security is your password. People who crack systems (don't call them hackers) say that the social crack, that is getting people to give them their password, is the most common way networks are cracked. Also passwords that are easy to guess provide easy access. What makes an easily cracked password? A name, a birthday, a word found in the dictionary are all easy for the bad guys.

So how do you make your password more secure? First make it hard to guess but easy for you to remember. One possibility is to take a line from a favorite song, use the first letters of the words, and mix in a random character or substitute similar characters.

For example:

'scuse me while I kiss the sky

Can become:

$mw1k+s!

Get the idea? The next thing to keep in mind is never, never, ever give anybody your password. If somebody calls you and says they are from Computing Services and need your password to check something, they are lying. Do not give this person your password. This person is up to no good.

Finally if you share anything on your hard drive be careful what you share and how much access you give people. Do not give write permissions to just anybody; you might get an unwelcome surprise.

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