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Using a Strong Username and Password

Tips for Creating a Strong Username and Password

It is strongly recommended that you create a strong username and password to protect your valuable information when creating an account in your PC and online. With the rise of computer crimes such as identity theft, it is wise to take the necessary steps to ensure that your important information is protected. Follow the tips below to protect your valuable information:

Username Suggestions

  • Create a username that is at least 6 alphanumeric characters and combine it with symbols.
  • The only symbols allowed are .(dot), -(dash) or _(underscore).
  • Must not begin with any symbols.
  • Must not end with any symbols.
  • Must not include consecutive symbols.
  • Keep your user information private. Do not share it with anyone and do not leave it written down in plain sight.

Password Suggestions

  • Make your password at least 8 characters in length. A password containing 14 or more characters is recommended, however the maximum length is 20 characters.
  • Password MUST include at least 1 UPPERCASE alphabetic character, 1 LOWERCASE alphabetic character and 1 numeric character. Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters (Aa–Zz), numbers (0–9), and symbols ( @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + | ~ - = ` { } [ ] : ; " < > ? , . /). The symbols that are NOT allowed are \ (back slash) or "(quotes).
  • Use a password that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess. {i.e. "2iNt0&Er0neT3" (a password that mixes "Internet" and 2003")}
  • Include similar looking substitutions, such as the number zero for the letter 'O' or '$' for the letter 'S'.
  • Create a unique acronym.
  • Include phonetic replacements.
  • Your password should not match any of your previous 3 passwords.

It is recommended that you use different password for your computers and online accounts for best protection. In addition, make sure to periodically change your password every 30-60 days.

Things to avoid when creating and protecting a strong password

1. Avoid using the word password, changeme, charter, or your username/login ID as your password.

2. Avoid using a password that contains personal information such as name, birth date, etc.

3. Avoid using words or acronyms that can be found in a dictionary.

4. Avoid using keyboard patterns (asdf) or sequential numbers (1234).

5. Avoid the use of repeating characters (aa11).

6. Avoid using a password that contains all numbers, uppercase letters or lowercase letters.

7. Avoid using the passwords that are listed in this article as your own.

8. Keep your password secret. Don't tell anyone your password (including significant others, roommates, etc.).

9. It is recommended that you don’t write your password down. But if you do write it down, hide the information in a safe place where only you can easily access.

10. Don't send your password or username via e-mail. Trusted companies such as Charter do not request password and username to be sent via e-mail. Learn more on how to surf the Internet safely by clicking here.

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