Protecting Your NetID Password

Why is My NetID Password Important?

Your University NetID is a unique identifier used to access information services and systems at Georgetown University.

Many frequently-used systems at Georgetown (e.g., Active Directory, Blackboard, Google Apps, MyAccess, Box) require a University NetID and password.

Anyone who knows your NetID password can access (and sometimes change) personal information about you, including:

  • Salary Information
  • Class Registration
  • Health Benefits
  • Bank Routing Numbers
  • Grades
  • and more!

For more information about your NetID, visit NetID Services.

Top 10 NetID Password Tips
  1. Never tell your password to anyone!
  2. Never write down your password.
  3. Make your password hard to guess—do not use the name of your pet (or your kid).
  4. Avoid using words found in a dictionary.
  5. Change your password at least 2x per year (enroll in password.georgetown.edu and change your password).
  6. The more random your password, the better.
  7. Be sure that you don't use personal identifiers in your password (like your name or NetID).
  8. Never write down your password.
  9. Take responsibility for your NetID.
  10. ...and never tell your password to anyone!

A compromised password not only puts your own information at risk—it may also expose sensitive University data and systems.

What’s a Strong Password?

A strong password is one that’s hard to crack. A strong password must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Your password must be at least eight characters long.
  • It must have at least one number.
  • It must have at least one letter.
  • It must have at least one symbol (!,@,#,$,^).
  • Avoid simple variants of names or words (even foreign words), simple patterns, famous equations, or well-known values
Coming up with a Strong Password

Coming up with a password that's both strong and easy to remember can take some creativity. Try thinking of a phrase (i.e. part of a book, poem, or song), and use it to form a password you’ll remember. For example:

"All of Gaul is divided into three main parts." would be "AoG/i3mp."
Insert symbols (punctuation) after every third character.
Use an upper case letter after every number.
Press the Shift key after every other character.
Be creative! Come up with your own system—the possibilities are endless.

Having problems remembering your password?
Write down your “system” in a way that only you can understand it. But never write down the password itself!
 

Quiz Yourself

 A strong password can be all that stands between you and identity theft. Is your NetID password strong enough?

The following passwords meet the minimum requirements for NetID passwords. However, all but one are still too weak.

Choose the strongest password from this list:

     A. aunt.sue.1
     B. reepicheep.0
     C. r33pich33p!
     D. Ac@8myham*
     E. A123.456
     F. 6.62e-34

Check your answer below!

A. No: Avoid proper names; B. No: Avoid fictional characters; C. No: Avoid simple substitutions; D.Yes: This is the best choice; E. No: Avoid simple patterns; F. No: Avoid famous equations

Guidelines for Protecting Your Passwords
  • Safeguard your password: All passwords are to be treated as confidential University information.
  • Change your password at least 2x per year. Enroll in password.georgetown.edu and change your password.
  • Take responsibility: You are responsible for the security of your passwords, and accountable for any misuse if they are guessed, disclosed, or compromised.
  • University representatives will never ask for your password: It is against University policy for a technology service provider to request a user’s passwords. If someone demands a password, refer the person to this document or have the person call someone in the University Information Security Office.
  • Make your NetID password unique: Do not use your University NetID password for any other services offered at Georgetown University or elsewhere (i.e. personal Internet service provider accounts, free online e-mail accounts, instant messaging accounts, other online services, etc.). Your University NetID password should be unique from every other password that you use. This will limit your exposure if any of your passwords are compromised.
  • Avoid using the "Remember Password" feature: These features, typically used to access secure applications (i.e. email, calendar, financial systems) and Web browsers (i.e. Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.), do not adequately protect passwords. It may be possible for a computer virus or unauthorized user to gain access to this stored information.
  • Report compromises immediately: If you suspect your account or password has been compromised, report the incident to the University Information Security Office and change the password immediately.