Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pa$$w0rdS: Westlaw Reset, LastPass Management, and Security

Online passwords: so necessary, so hard to create, and so easy to forget. If you're prone to keeping the same passwords on multiple sites for long stretches of time, Westlaw is about to make your life a bit more difficult: all academic Westlaw users should change their OnePass password as soon as possible, in order to avoid an upcoming automatic reset which would lock you out of your account until a new password is created. A similar reset occurred last year for law firm Westlaw subscribers; the academic reset may take place as early as mid-January.

To change your OnePass password before the automatic reset, log in to, click "Update" in the left-hand welcome sidebar, and create a new password following the requirements. Passwords must be between 8-16 characters long and contain at least 3 of the required features (upper-case letter, lower-case letter, symbol, and/or number).

But think twice before typing your pet's name or "Password" followed by a "1" to meet the bare-minimum requirements. Recently, iDict, a list of the top 500 iCloud passwords, was posted to GitHub, as both a tool for would-be crackers and a reminder that the most memorable passwords are laughably easy for others to guess. For tips on creating a stronger passphrase which meets security requirements while remaining memorable for you, visit the Duke University IT Security Office Password Security page. This site includes strategies for creating effective passwords and avoiding the worst ones.

If you just can't keep track of all but the simplest passwords, it might be time to take advantage of password management software, which helps you create strong passwords in addition to filling them into your browser automatically and securely. Duke University offers free access to LastPass for students, faculty and staff; it can be downloaded from the OIT Software List with your NetID and password. For assistance with setting up and using LastPass, visit the Duke Law Academic Technologies website or the Help Desk on level 3 of the library.