PennKey Password Rules

PennKey Password Rules

Note: A PDF version of this document is available for printing.

To protect your personal files and Penn resources, your PennKey password needs enough length, variety, and unpredictability to qualify as secure.

The simplest option is a password whose length alone makes it resistant to being compromised. Long passwords have fewer requirements.

Tip: Use four or more unrelated words to form a strong password that's easy to remember, such as: boldaugustpretzelcloud

You can also create a shorter password that introduces more variety and unpredictability into your character combination. A password this long must contain:

20 or more characters: any U.S. keyboard characters
    example: boldaugustpretzelcloud
16-19: capital and lower-case letters
    example: BoldAugustPretzel
12-15: capital and lower-case letters and numbers
    example: 4Bold7August8
8-11: capital and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols
    example: $4Bold78!

PennKey passwords are also screened for easily guessed combinations, such as:
  • Portions of, or simple variations on, your name or username
  • Single dictionary words (English and non-English): Diversifications, Alternativamente
  • Common 2-3 word combinations: PhiladelphiaEagles
  • Predictable strings: 123123, abcdef, qwerty, johnpaulgeorgeringo, pa$$w0rd, drowssap
  • Compromised passwords on published lists

If you have trouble remembering a longer password, write it down and handle it with the same caution you would a credit card.