Print This Issue

One Step Ahead: Privacy and Security Tips
September 12, 2006, Volume 53, No. 3

One Step Ahead

Another tip in a series provided by the Offices of Information Systems & Computing and Audit, Compliance & Privacy.

Managing Passwords

How many of you forget which passwords you use when?  In today’s world of increasing password use, here’s some advice. Create distinctive passwords according to four categories:  1. PennKey; 2. Other Penn Systems; 3. Personal (Most Critical); 4. Personal (Other).

1. PennKey. For many Penn systems, you will be required to create a strong password with the PennKey application.  Never share your PennKey password and use it ONLY on Penn systems.  Your PennKey password can be abused to access institutional data—and even your own sensitive data—so keep it to yourself.  If you have shared your PennKey password, create a new one immediately by visiting www.upenn.edu/computing/pennkey/setreset/#change. If you need to have someone else access PennKey-authenticated systems on your behalf, talk to your Local Support Provider about getting proxy access for that person. 

2. Other Penn Systems. Establish a second password for Penn systems that are not accessed via PennKey and password. 

3. Personal (Most Critical). For your life outside of Penn, consider creating one or two long and complex passwords for your most sensitive systems, such as online banking and other financial systems or home or car alarm systems.

4. Personal (Other). Take as the remaining category your e-commerce activities and select one or two passwords for those activities.


For additional tips, see the One Step Ahead link on the Information Security website: www.upenn.edu/computing/security/.

Almanac - September 12, 2006, Volume 53, No. 3