Passwords are required to be what are referred to as strong passwords. Rules for what makes a strong password vary, but the adoption at Texarkana College requires you to use a mix of a minimum of 8 characters with at least one each of an upper case letter (A-Z), a lower case letter (a-z), and a digit (0-9). Optionally, you can also use one of the special characters ‘_’ (underscore), ‘#’ (hash symbol), or ‘$’ (dollar sign).  Passwords may also not contain words in the dictionary or more than three letters from your name. When you change your password, it has to be a new password you haven’t used previously. All of these rules are there to keep your account from being hacked and protect data in our system. IT IS ESSENTIAL YOU NEVER RESPOND TO A REQUEST FOR YOUR USERNAME AND PASSWORD THAT YOU RECEIVE VIA EMAIL. THESE REQUESTS ARE ALWAYS FROM HACKERS TRYING TO COMPROMISE OUR SYSTEM! Information Technology staff will not send you emails asking you for password information or requesting you log on to some site to verify your credentials!

Creating a strong password that you can remember at first seems difficult. Who can remember 8 random characters of upper and lower case characters mixed with a digit or two? Actually it is very easy if you have a scheme. One of the best ways to build a strong password is to start with something called a passphrase and use the 1st characters of the passphrase as the password. Here are some examples. Don’t use these since they are published here, but use the idea. Come up with your own unique passphrases – SOMETHING YOU CAN REMEMBER.

Passphrase: I have worked at Texarkana College for 12 years.
Password: IhwaTCf12y

Passphrase: My oldest child’s name is John and he is 7.
Password: mocniJahi7

Passphrase: On July 4th I am going to light fireworks.
Password: OJ4Iagtlf

That should be enough to give you the idea. Strong passwords protect our network and are a good idea to use whenever you are required to provide credentials to a website. It is also good policy to not use the same password for all your Internet business. You should have one for banking, one for work, and another for social media sites, etc. Using the passphrase concept, you can make the area the password was for a part of the passphrase with the rest of the password the same for your various logins.

You can follow these links to reset your password on your own:

How to reset your password from a campus computer

How to Change Your Password

How to use Password Self-Service

Try and come up with a good password you can remember. Password resets are the #1 cause for Help Desk calls which cost us money. Compromised passwords could potentially allow access to confidential information by unauthorized users. Never share your password – it is a violation of the college’s security policy to do so.