Campus electronic communications systems or services must identify users and authorize access by means of passwords or other secure authentication processes. When passwords are used, they should meet the Minimum Password Complexity Standards as described below. In addition, shared-access systems must enforce these standards whenever possible and appropriate and require that users change any pre-assigned passwords immediately upon initial access to the account.

All passwords for access to student network devices should meet the below standards.

Suggested Student Minimum Password Complexity Standards

  • Contain eight characters or more
  • Contain characters from all of the following three character classes:
  1. Alphabetic (e.g., a-z, A-Z)
  2. Numeric (i.e. 0-9)
  3. Punctuation and other characters (e.g., !@#$%^&*()_+|~-=\`{}[]:";'<>?,./)


The password SHOULD NOT be:

  • A derivative of the username
  • A word found in a dictionary (English or foreign)
  • A dictionary-word spelled backwards
  • A dictionary-word (forward or backwards) preceded and/or followed by any other single character (e.g., secret1, 1secret, secret?, secret!)


Passwords are used for various purposes at College of the Ouachitas. Some of the more common uses include: local accounts, web accounts, and email accounts. A weak (or absent) password is one of the most common ways for an attacker to compromise your account; therefore, you should be aware of how to select strong passwords.

Other Password Guidelines

  1. Do not use an easily guessed password. Some examples of passwords that would be easy to guess:
  • Names of family, pets, friends, co-workers, etc.
  • Computer terms and names, commands, sites, companies, hardware, software.
  • Birthdays and other personal information such as addresses and phone numbers.
  • Word or number patterns like aaabbb, qwerty, zyxwvuts, 123321, etc.
  1. Passwords should never be written down or stored on-line.
  2. In general, a password should be as long as possible while still being easy-to-remember. One way to do this is create a password based on an easy-to-remember phrase. For example, the phrase might be: "Are you ready to learn" and the password could be: "Rurdy2Le@rn" or some other variation. NOTE: Do not use this example
  3. You should change your passwords on a regular basis, at least every six months. You should also change your password any time you suspect that your account has been compromised or tampered with and notify the IT department.


Try to use a different password for every system. At a minimum, do NOT use the same password for any of your Campus accounts that you use for a non-Campus service or third-party web site.