Passwords

Need To Change Your Password? Change it now.

Control Panel 
Change your Vassar user name and password securly (Google Apps, Windows Domain, Wifi, VApps, Moodle and more) at https://controlpanel.vassar.edu

Why should I care about password security?

Information to which you have access as a Vassar employee may be sensitive or confidential in nature. If someone were to gain access to this information, it could be used unethically or illegally in your name. Your password is personal and private information -- it is not to be shared and doing so violates Vassar's regulations on acceptable use of information resources.

As easy as it is to use “changeme” or “password” or your name, you are taking a huge security risk by using passwords that are easy to hack. There is an art to choosing a good password. While a good password may take longer to remember, it’s worth the effort to protect your desktop and the entire network. Passwords are an integral part of overall security.  A weak password is one of the vulnerabilities most frequently targeted by a hacker.

What are the most crackable passwords?

Never choose an easy to guess password. Anyone who knows you or even strangers can easily find out information about you that can help to crack a password.  Here are some examples of common BAD PASSWORD choices: significant other's name, children's names, birth date, pet's name, favorite sports team, mother's maiden name, town where you grew up.  If you are currently using one of these passwords as your primary password, your personal information and all sensitive information to which you have access is NOT SECURE. Please change it!

How do hackers steal passwords?

Hackers constantly scan the Internet to find computers with weak passwords, unpatched operating systems and vulnerable running programs.  In about 20 minutes a single hacker can scan around 10,000 computers.  Hackers use software tools that rapidly assess thousands of common passwords in order to gain access to different systems.  Once a password is cracked, a hacker can usually access more accounts without your knowledge, such as email, Instant Messenger, online banking information and other personal and private information.

What are the basic rules for creating a strong password?

Your password must be 6-32 characters containing:

  • At least four characters must be different
  • NEVER WRITE YOUR PASSWORD DOWN
  • 3 of the following 4 character types:
  • capitalized letter
  • lower case letter
  • number
  • non-alphanumeric symbol

The most secure passwords are long strings of characters of 16 characters or more.  Unfortunately, there are not many websites that allow such long character strings but if they do, please take advantage.  Imagine a password like this  "Mydogistheonly14me".  It would be easy for your to remember and nearly impossible to crack.

Examples of ways you can create a strong password.

Use a word or phrase with meaning for you (so that it will be easy to remember), but mix it up by adding in symbols or numbers to increase the security of the password. 

From a childhood verse:

Verse Line: Yankee Doodle went to town

Password: YDwt#t

Expressions inspired by the name of a city:

City Expression: I love Paris in the springtime

Password: iLP1nST

Note: Single words with simple substitutions are easy to crack (hackers know how to replace an "S" with "$").  So if you choose a meaningful word, don't simply substitute a few characters.

@rtWork$ - (artworks) is bad, @rt294Work$ is better.

D1ngding -(dingding) is bad, D1ng!ding% is better.

m@11_rat -(mall rat) is bad, m@11*4rat is better.

p@rl3zV0u$ -(parlez-vous) is bad, p@rl3zVU#8 is better.

How often should I change my password?

We recommend that you change your password at least once per semester, but every 60 days will ensure your password stays secure.

Where do I change my passwords?

You can change your email password using the controlpanel.  This can also be used to sync passwords for your  Domain, Blackboard, Vspace, Email and Citrix.

Why can't I have just ONE password??

While it is annoying to have to remember many passwords, it does make sensitive information more secure.

Can I synchronize several passwords at once?

Yes, try using the controlpanel including your Windows Domain(ACADSVR), Blackboard, Vspace, Email and Citrix.

What about other passwords?

For information on Banner, Ask Banner or Banner online contact BTECH. You can reset your Vassar Webspace password by knowing your email password at getweb.