Password Tips

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How to Choose and Remember Strong Passwords

Your Adams State username and password is the key to your account. Like any key, it must be safeguarded. Anyone with your password could get into your account, see your information, access your files, and even pose as you.

Best: Use a Password Manager

A password manager is a software application on your computer that generates very strong passwords and stores them in a secure, encrypted database. Because the database is encrypted, no one can access the passwords unless they have the master key.

ASU Computing Services Recommends

With a secure password manager you never have to worry about picking a good password or remembering it, you can copy and paste directly from the password manager. If you need assistance setting up a password manager, please contact the Computing Services Helpdesk at 719-587-7741 or .

Good: Create a passphrase to generate a strong password

Never use words that can be found in the dictionary in your password as they are easy for attackers to crack. Using a dictionary word with and tacking on a number and symbol also results in a weak password. Happy1! is a very weak password and could be quickly cracked by an attacker.

Rather than using a dictionary word, think of a random passphrase. Pick a phrase that is easy for you to remember, but hard for someone else to guess. Then, use an abbreviation of the passphrase, while substituting symbols and numbers throughout.

  • personal phrase: I love sandwiches, I could eat them everyday.
    • Password: il0V$,Ic3tEd! (but don't use this password, as its on our public how to!)

By using the first letter or few letters of each word and substituting numbers and special characters throughout, you end up with a very strong password that is easy to remember!

What NOT to do when choosing a Password

  • Do NOT choose a password based on personal data that is easily obtained, such as your name, username, address, your pet's name, or your favorite sport.
  • Do NOT use a password that is a word in the dictionary or as keyboard sequence, such as qwerty or 12345.
  • Do NOT choose a password that is a simple transformation of a word. For example, password123 is not a good password, since 123 is a common, simple transformation of a word.
  • Do NOT use the same password for multiple systems. If you use a password for your ASU account you should not re-use that password on personal sites, such as banking or social media. Every site should use a unique password. A password manager can help considerably with this!

Why are strong passwords important?

Its very common for attackers to try to break-in to systems by trying to guess passwords or perform an automated attack looking for weak passwords. These break-ins can result in system downtime, lost work, or loss of privacy. Automated attacks can look for dictionary words or simple variations of them, as well as commonly used passwords.

Protect your password from Misuse

  • Do not let anyone else know or use your password; this is a violation of Adams State University policy.
    • ASU Computing Services will 'never ask for your password. If you receive an email asking you to confirm your username and password for your account, it is from an attacker. Delete the message and do not respond to it.
  • Never write your password down. If you need a way to remember your password, use a secure method such as a password manager.
  • If you suspect that someone else may know your password, change it immediately.

How to change your password

  • Go to
    • If you are a student, click on One Stop at the top of the screen.
    • If you are an employee, click on Faculty/Staff.
  • Click "Change your Password."

Additional Resources