we’ve all been there

Recently, we’ve been running out of options for our UNI logins. Changing them every 180 days was a hassle in the first place, but on top of that, there’s a load of other requirements that not even our bank accounts require. So, how can you find a good password that fits you?

It used to be so simple: set the same passwords for all your accounts, and leave it that way until about 3 years later when you realize maybe your parents/siblings/exes shouldn’t have access to your Netflix anymore because they keep screwing with your recs. But CUIT won’t settle for that–we must change our passwords every 180 days, and we must tailor those passwords very specific demands. The password requirements/tips are the following, as posted on the CUIT password change page:

Password Rules

  • Must be between 8 and 64 characters long.
    (between 16 and 64 for service accounts.)
  • Must have at least 3 of the following:
    • upper case letter
    • lower case letter
    • number
    • special character
  • Special characters include symbols and punctuation marks.
  • Passwords less than 12 characters cannot contain common words or personal identifiers.
  • Passwords of any length may not contain your first or last name.
  • To set a new password it must be different from the last five that were used.

Password Tips

  • Try forming a password from a phrase or sentence. This is a very secure way of creating longer passwords that are both hard for others to crack and easy to remember by you.
  • With shorter passwords it might be necessary to remove some vowels from a word, or to to embed some numbers or special characters within a word.

Password Security Guidelines

  • Do not share your password with others.
  • Do not base your password on personal information that can be easily guessed or discovered on Facebook.
  • Do not use the same password for all applications.
  • Do not save or store your passwords on browsers and websites.
  • Remember to always log out.

Obviously, these password requirements come on top of our own personal requirements: must be easily and quickly typed, must be spelled correctly and have no grammar mistakes (we’re Columbia students, come on), and ideally, we’d like to make a witty philosophical reference. But CUIT won’t allow that, because passwords cannot include “common words or identifiers.” Here’s some ideas to get this painful process out of your head:

  • Keymash, then copy-paste it into the password confirmation. Hit save and then when Google Chrome asks you if you’d like to save it, hit yes, and forget it.
  • On second thought, while it’s still copied, text it to yourself. Printing is gonna be a bitch.
  • Another fun thing to do is make a your password a whole sentence long! Some good sentences:
    • “[insert roommate’s name]isaBUTTFACE~666”
    • “T0b30rN0T0B3xoxophel!a”
    • “sorrytheoldpasswordcantcometothephonerightnowwhy0hshesDead!”
    • “DearHalalManOn1!6ThankYou”
    • “FuckY0u[professor that gave you a B once]!”
  • Your crush’s UNI
  • Just copy-paste the first 64 characters of your fave Bwog article
  • A list of every grade you’ve received at Columbia in chronological order

That’s all we’ve got folks. If they won’t accept your slight adjustments next time around, take our suggestions into account. Or, CUIT could just start using Two-Factor Authentication and let us live with our poor password choices!