Creating Strong Passwords

Password Requirements
The following rules for stronger passwords are currently enforced for Parnassus, Homer Admin and e-mail, but are recommended for all other systems as well. The password rules are as follows:

  • Must be at least 8 characters, but not more than 16 characters (16-character maximum only applies to Netpass)
  • Must consist of a combination of letters, numbers and one or more of these special characters: ! (exclamation point), % (percent sign), * (asterisk), + (plus sign), -(dash or minus sign), ? (question mark), _ (underscore)
  • Cannot contain the user name for that system 
  • Cannot be a password that has been used within the last 18 months


Create Strong Passwords that are easy to remember by using the first letter of each word in a sentence. Choose a sentence with some capitalized proper nouns, at least one number, and some punctuation, for example:

Example sentence: '17 will be Ithaca's year at Cortaca Jug!

Password: '17wbIy@CJ!


Although common, character replacement is actually pretty weak for password creation:
In this method, one or more letters is replaced with a similar looking number and special character. For example, Apple becomes 4pp!e, Gleam becomes 6!eam, or razzle becomes ra22!e. Please see this link for more information:


Keep your passwords safe:

  • DO NOT share passwords with co-workers, friends, or relatives.
  • DO NOT write passwords on a sticky note, notepad, or anything stored in or around monitors or desks.
  • DO NOT store passwords in unencrypted or plain text files on a computer DO NOT let others watch a password as it is typed.