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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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Travel Tips for Data Security
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One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
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Table of Contents (view all)

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Yearís Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - Almanac Vol. 57, No. 31

Perfecting PennKey Passwords

On March 29, the minimum length for new PennKey passwords was increased from six characters to eight characters, to make it more difficult for hackers using password-cracking tools to guess passwords. If you currently have a six- or seven-character password, we strongly recommend that you set a longer password now. The direct link for changing a known PennKey password is

To construct a long (and therefore stronger) password that you can remember, try this:

  1. Think of a phrase that has special meaning only to you, or conversely that no one would suspect would have any meaning to you: Chester Arthur was the twenty-first President of the United States!
  2. Take the first letter of each word (maintaining case) to ďassembleĒ your password: CAwttfPotUS. This is a pretty strong password, and not hard to remember if you keep the source phrase in mind.
  3. You can make it even stronger by including the punctuation and "tweaking" it a little: CAwt21stPOTUS!. Of course, since that password is published here, donít use it as your password!

Now, to protect your password:

  • DON'T share it with anyone - this violates Pennís Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources.
  • DON'T write it down and post it somewhere (like on your monitor or under your keyboard).
  • DON'T send it in email. No one at Penn should ever ask you for your PennKey password.
  • DON'T type it into a web site that you visit after clicking on an unsolicited link.
It may be difficult to remember a password if you use your PennKey infrequently, and resetting a forgotten password is more problematic if you are rarely on campus or travel frequently. In these cases, you may wish to enroll in Challenge-Response. This option allows you to reset your password quickly online without first obtaining a PennKey Setup Code. However, if you regularly access sensitive University data, you should NOT enroll in Challenge-Response.

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