Resources

Infosec Website Resources

Server Registration

Server registration is necessary for faculty, staff and departments at Southern Miss who operate a server that needs to be accessible via the internet. Students need not apply.

To register a server, go to soar.usm.edu > SOAR login > USM Utilities > USM iTech > USM Server Registration.

Good Passwords

Guidelines for Good Passwords

All users are required to have their own username and password in order to access University systems. This is necessary to ensure resources are only being accessed by authorized individuals and to provide a mechanism for tracking unauthorized actions if they occur. It is never permissible for multiple individuals to share the same username and password.

In many cases, the only protection the University's computers and data have from unauthorized users are the passwords chosen by the individuals using the system. If users on systems are not using sufficiently complex passwords it becomes a fairly simple task for malicious individuals to gain access to systems by either guessing passwords or employing utilities designed to perform "brute force" password guessing until they gain access. For this reason it is necessary for all users of University systems to use sufficiently complex passwords. As of the publication of this document the minimum requirements for passwords on University systems are:

  • they must be at least 8 characters long
  • they must not be based on a dictionary word
  • they should consist of characters from at least three of the following four categories: lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers and special characters (punctuation and mathematical symbols).

In those rare situations where the software does not permit these requirements to be met, the user should satisfy as many password construction requirements as possible.

Tips and Help for Passwords

Often, many users have difficulty in creating a password that is complex enough to be useful and something they can remember. It is not unusual for the casual user to write their newly created password on a sticky note, and store that password close to thier machine. The password then becomes useless if someone gains physical access to the machine and can find the note.

Some users will use easy to remember personal information to create their password. While this is better than writing the password down, someone who knows the user well enough, may be able to guess this information was used in the password.

For instance, John Thomas Doe who got married to Jane Mary Doe June 3, 2000 may have used jt&jm0603 as his password.

Though this sounds like an unlikely scenario, it has happened with anniversaries, birthdays, and children's names.

A quick method for creating passwords that are easy to remember is to use a mnemonic. Think of a sentence that will be easy for you to remember, and use the sentence to create your password.

For example:
I ate pickles at Joseph Greene Hall!
becomes: I8p@jgh!

That's a pretty good password.

External Resources

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Other Resources

Do-It-Yourself Checklist