User Account Security

Please review our tips for user account security below to learn ways to help secure your digital life.

1. Create a strong user account password.

  • The best passwords are long and contain a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Passwords should not be based on words because of the risks of them being discovered by dictionary attack techniques.
  • Stonehill password requirements include a minimum of 8 characters, and this is a good minimum for other sites.

2. Create a password that is easy to remember, for you not others.

  • Family member’s names, birthdays and pet names are easy passwords for others to guess, so try to use a word or phrase that is memorable but tough for others to decipher.
  • Be sure to check out our Password Security and Security Questions page for tips on creating the most secure password and security questions.

3. Never share your user account password with anyone.

  • Never write down your password and leave it accessible for anyone to find – this includes sending it in an email

4. Do not use the same password for everything.

  • If your password is the same for Gmail, your Stonehill account, your bank account, and Twitter and one of your accounts is hacked, they all may easily be compromised.

5. Change your password frequently.

  • Your Stonehill password is required to be changed every 180 days, but you may change it at any time using the Password Change Service.
  • While some web-based services may not force a password change, it's a good practice to change them periodically.

6. Protect PINs which may be used with bank cards, credit cards, and voicemail accounts.

  • Make sure to keep your PINs confidential and protected, including covering a keypad if typing in a public area.
  • Change your PINs regularly.

7.Choose a good security question and an answer to prevent anyone from guessing the answers to change your password.

  • A good questionwill be:
    • Applicable – It should pertain to your life events
    • Definitive –It should have only one correct answer that does not change
  • Good answers to these questions should be:
    • Memorable – It should be easy to remember
    • Secure – It should be difficult to guess or find through research by others and it should be 

8. Use a passphrase instead of a word as a password and an answer for a security question.

  • A passphrase is simply a different way of creating a much longer password using a meaningful phrase.
  • A passphrase can be a favorite song lyric, a quote from a book, magazine, or movie, or something your kids said last week.
  • Dictionary words and names are combined with letters, numbers and symbols, without spaces.
  • Some example passphrases are:
    • IwillgraduateIn2014
    • ToB0ldlyGo
    • ILikeMilk&C00kies
    • Paris is my favorite city

Additional Resources: