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Computer Help Desk Email Computer HelpDesk
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Faculty / Staff Issue
Published by Computer and
Information Systems
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Webpage: http://www.spu.edu/help/
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   Change Passwords to Keep Your Information Private!
   SPU IMAP Connection Setup Changing
   Wired vs. Wireless @ SPU


Change Passwords to Keep Your Information Private!
The first rule of good passwording is to "avoid the obvious!" All the technical efforts in the world will be useless if your password is easily guessed, is a word in the dictionary, or can be read off a sticky note on the side of your monitor! Don't use your kids names, pets, or your favorite Seahawks player (especially if you have a poster of Matt Hasselbeck on your wall!)
A second rule is to use a password that you can easily commit to memory (so you don't have to write it down), but also one that is as long and as complex as possible. A good strategy is to use a passphrase rather than a password. Passphrases are generated from a phrase that you have committed to memory. For example, taking the first letter of each word plus punctuation from the scripture in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." would yield the passphrase: FGsltwthghoaoS,twbihsnpbhel.3:16. Nice passphrase! Long, complex, and easy to remember (as long as you've memorized that portion of scripture)!

In short, we recommend the following:

  • Avoid the obvious and use a passphrase committed to memory;
  • A minimum length of 8 characters is essential, but the longer the better;
  • Be sure to include special characters with a mix of numbers and upper and lower case letters;
  • Don't use the same password for multiple systems/credentials;
  • Change your passwords at least once a year;
  • (And don't use John 3:16 as your passphrase :)).
To change your password:
  1. Sign on to your SPU provided computer
  2. Press 'ctrl+alt+delete' on the keyboard. This will bring up a number of tasks you can perfom on your computer.
  3. Click Change Password'
  4. You will be asked to enter your old password as well as a the new password you would like to use. Once you click 'OK' your password will be changed for all campus resources using the SPU Username such as Blackboard and Webmail

SPU IMAP Connection Setup Changing
Do you use Thunderbird, Mac Mail.app or Entourage?
If so, you are using an IMAP connection and will soon need to reconfigure how you connect to our email server. To protect your password and email being transmitted around the internet in plain text we are requiring all connections to be made through secure IMAP. In addition to encrypting your information this configuration will also allow you to send e-mail using the SPU server from any network.
To configure your e-mail client please see the step by step walkthroughs available on the CIS HelpPages at: http://www.spu.edu/cishelpdesk/email/client/ [link]

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Wired vs. Wireless @ SPU
Wireless internet access is available in most areas of campus. If you would like to connect your computer to the SPU-Wireless network please see our instructions available here: http://www.spu.edu/cishelpdesk/network/wireless/

While wireless is a great convenience for checking email or browsing the web, it is not a high capacity connection like a wired Ethernet jack. If you plan on downloading large files, computer updates or watching streaming video you should plug into the wired connection. Wireless connections are very susceptible to interference – microwaves and cordless phones operate on the same frequency and can cause your connection to drop very briefly when they are in use. Using a wired connection when possible will avoid these potential problems and ensure your internet speeds are up to their full potential. Wired ethernet jacks are available in most faculty/staff offices, student residences and the SPU Library. [link]

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