Information Security
Protect Your Information and Identity
Password Security Tips

Almost all private information about us and our work is stored behind a password, so it's important to make sure that password is strong and secure. Securing your password means securing Northwestern’s data—and your own.

  • Consider using a passphrase as your password. It may be easier to remember a phrase from your favorite song or your favorite quotation than to remember a short but complicated password, which may be more difficult to guess or crack. Visit Northwestern IT's Web page about secure passphrases/passwords to review the requirements for NetID password complexity.
  • Never share your passphrase/password with anyone. It is against Northwestern IT policy to share your password with anyone.  Your NetID and password are intended to grant you access to your own data and to other potentially sensitive information contained on Northwestern systems. Furthermore, your NetID and password act as your digital signature: if someone uses your credentials and violates University policy, you could be held accountable for those actions.
  • Store your password securely. Even if you have a bad memory, you can still create strong and varied passwords for your accounts. There are many programs, called password managers, which allow you to manage your passwords and sometimes offer integrated services such as password generators etc. For personal use, consider:
  • Log out of your accounts. Forgetting to sign out of your accounts on machines that do not belong to you may give the next person to use that computer access to your information. Whenever you use a friend's laptop or a public computer at a lab or library, take an extra moment to be sure you've logged out of anything that could contain personal information.