Creating Strong Passwords: Digital Literacy for Students and Staff

Password security imageAlthough a strong password is an important 21st century skill, even the most advanced computer users fail to regularly change their passwords or choose to use ones without a high level of complexity.  We have developed a list of tips and suggestions for creating (and remembering!) a complex password.

Almost every student in grades 6-12 has his/her own Chromebook to use anytime/anywhere, and a Chromebook has been provided to every teacher who has requested one.  With this expanded access comes the responsibility to use strong passwords.   Though characters make a password more secure, the image to the left illustrates how a longer password can be significantly more secure.  A secure password–one which is not shared–is more important than ever, as many of the resources we use are Software as a Service (SaaS) and can be accessed from any web browser.  This is quite different from years ago, when most resources were available only within the school building–something which also limited learning opportunities.

Students who are interested in and pursue a career in Internet security–which extends well beyond password security–will quickly learn the high demand for employees with such skills.  Forbes reports there were one million cybersecurity job opportunities last year, with top salaries reaching nearly $400,000/year.  Additionally, Forbes reports that this cybersecurity jobs are expected to grow by more than 35% for the next six years, with a current rating of 8 on the U.S. News and World Report survey of the best jobs for 2015.

Is your password on the “top 25” list?  If so, consider changing it right away!