Choosing a Password

Choosing a good, secure password is important, for your personal account on the CS server or a team account. Indeed, for any account. There are few things for which you want to prove your identity (authentication) and be granted permission (authorization) where you won't care whether someone else can hack in and become you.

Use a Password Manager

One of the best things you can do is to have and use a password manager. There are some good articles from CNet about password managers, including recommendations:

Many of the CS Faculty use password managers. The beauty of a password manager is that you can have a different, unique, very strong password for every account you have, and it does all the remembering for you.

Password Strategy

Supppose you decide to skip a password manager, at least for your account on the CS server, you must choose a strong password that you can remember or write down. Please consider the strategy depicted by the XKCD cartoon:

password strength
Many old-fashioned strategies are both weak and hard to remember. Random words can be strong and memorable.

SSH Keys

Even better is to generate and use SSH Keys. They won't work in all contexts, but they work for logins and they are very secure. In fact, GitHub has given up on passwords entirely in favor of, among other things, SSH Keys. See GitHub kisses Passwords Goodbye.

Contact cs-sysadmin if you'd like to pursue this option.