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Password Rules and Regulations

Changes to Vetmed Password Rules

Effective March 1st, 2012 the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University is changing its password rules and regulations. This shift is meant to better adhere to the policy of the State of Washington regarding passwords. These changes will not just help protect individual users but secure the network as a whole. As such passwords must:

  • Be a minimum of 10 characters long.
  • Be a maximum of 80 characters long.
  • Include three of the four following character types:
    • Uppercase letters: A-Z
    • Lowercase letters: a-z
    • Numerals: 0-9
    • Special characters: !@#$%^&*().?
    • Space key: The space can be helpful when creating memorable phrases but should never be the first or last character.
    • Other keyboard characters may be used: Angle brackets, quotation marks, and colons are among them. However, the behaviour of these items can be erratic and should be used with caution.
  • Not consist of only a single complete dictionary word 7 characters or longer (spelled forwards or in reverse i.e "esrever"), but may include short dictionary words (6 characters or less) within it.
  • Not be or contain your user name, user ID, NID, or forms of these.
  • Not be a common keyboard sequence such as qwerty, 123123, abcabc, etc.
  • Be significantly different from the previous four passwords. Passwords that increment (Password1, Password2, Password3...) are not considered significantly different.
  • Not be given out to other people, including co-workers or supervisors.


  • Horse12# is not acceptable as it is under 10 characters. HorseRadish12# is acceptable.
  • VetmedIsCool is not acceptable as it doesn't consist of three character types. Vetmed*Is*Cool is acceptable.
  • I<3puppies is not an acceptable significant change from I<3Puppies. I<3Kittens is an acceptable significant change.
  • LlamaLover can be made acceptable by using a cryptographic substitution, one such permutation being 11@M@10V32.