Password Policy

1.0 Overview

Passwords are an important aspect of security. A poorly chosen password may result in unauthorised access and/or exploitation of's resources.

All members ("Members") with access to's Membership platform, are responsible for taking the appropriate steps, as outlined below, to select and secure their passwords.

2.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish a standard for creation of strong passwords, the protection of those passwords and the frequency of change.

3.0 Scope

The scope of this policy includes all members who have or are responsible for a membership account (or any form of access that supports or requires a password) on the Membership platform.

4.0 Policy

4.1 General

  • All Member passwords must be changed at least every six months.
  • All third party accounts (Facebook) which allow member's access to the Membership platform must be changed at least every six months.
  • All Member passwords must conform to the guidelines described below.

4.2 Guidelines

A. General Password Construction Guidelines

All Members of should be aware of how to select strong passwords.

Strong passwords have the following characteristics:

  • Contain at least three of the five following character classes:
  •       Lower case characters
  •       Upper case characters
  •       Numbers
  •       "Special" characters (? @ _ - $ % £ & + ! = . ;)
  • Contain at least eight alphanumeric characters.

Weak passwords have the following characteristics:

  • The password contains less than eight characters
  • The password is a word found in a dictionary (English or foreign)
  • The password is a common usage word such as:
  •       Names of family, pets, friends, co-workers, fantasy characters, etc.
  •       Computer terms and names, commands, sites, companies, hardware, software.
  •       The words "", "sanjose", "sanfran" or any derivation.
  •       Birthdays and other personal information such as addresses and phone numbers.
  •       Word or number patterns like aaabbb, qwerty, zyxwvuts, 123321, etc.
  •       Any of the above spelled backwards.
  •       Any of the above preceded or followed by a digit (e.g., secret1, 1secret)

Members must create passwords that can be easily remembered. One way to do this is create a password based on a song title, affirmation, or other phrase.

For example, the phrase might be: "This May Be One Way To Remember" and the password could be: "TmB1w2R!" or "Tmb1W>r~" or some other variation. (NOTE: Do not use either of these examples as passwords!)

B. Password Protection Standards

  • Do not share Membership passwords with anyone. All passwords are to be treated as sensitive, confidential information.
  • Passwords should never be written down or stored on-line without encryption.
  • Do not reveal a password in email, chat, or other electronic communication.
  • Do not speak about a password in front of others.
  • Do not hint at the format of a password (e.g., "my family name")
  • Do not reveal a password on questionnaires or security forms
  • If someone demands a password, refer them to this document and direct them to's Information Security Department, who can be contacted at
  • Always decline the use of the "Remember Password" feature of applications (e.g., Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari).

If an account or password compromise is suspected, report the incident to the Information Security Department, who can be contacted as

C. Memorable Words

Memorable Words can be used in conjunction with a password for Member's to get access to the Membership platform.

Memorable Words are not the same as passwords. A Memorable Word is used as a secondary identification method (2 factor) for Members.

A good Memorable Word is relatively long and contains a combination of upper and lowercase letters. An example of a good Memorable Word:

"The Traffic On The 101 Was BAD This Morning"

All of the rules above that apply to passwords apply to Memorable Words except the use of special characters.

5.0 Enforcement

Any Membership member found to have violated this policy will be subject to conditions.

Password cracking or guessing may be performed on a periodic or random basis by the Information Security Department or its delegates. If a password is guessed or cracked during these exercises, the member will be required to change it.


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