Password Use and Computer Account Security
If you use a computer system at UH, University Information Technology (UIT) recommends you change your password every month. Since potential computer hackers use a variety of methods to obtain passwords, customers who change their passwords regularly will decrease the likelihood of an unauthorized person accessing their accounts.
Passwords may be obtained through a number of ways. The most common methods involve using familiarity with the person to guess their password, checking near a computer for written passwords, or by simply overhearing or being told the account owner's password.
In addition to regularly changing their passwords, IT customers should do the following to ensure their passwords are secure:
- Do not choose passwords which may be easily guessed or obtained from another source, such as the name of anyone closely associated with the account owner (including pets), phone numbers, project or class assignment names, or any easily associated word.
- Choose a password that is at least eight characters long. The longer the password, the harder it is for hackers to crack.
- The most effective passwords use random characters, but are easy to recall. For example, passwords that mix words with numbers (drive55) or contain more than one word (callyourmom) are harder for hackers to find by a dictionary or spell checker.
- Change passwords often. IT recommends customers change their passwords at least once a month to discourage hackers. Remember, an expert hacker may eventually discover your password given enough time to work on it.
- If you have reason to believe your account has been tampered with, change your password immediately and contact the IT Support Center at 713-743-1411 so they can take action to protect you.
- Never share a password with anyone, and avoid writing passwords down. Account owners are personally responsible for their accounts and will be held liable for any misuse. Passwords do not appear on the screen when you type them.
Customers who need assistance with their passwords should contact their local support providers, or the UIT Support Center at 713-743-1411.