When installing software or hardware that requires a username and password, make certain that you use a secure username and password. In particular, always change the default settings and use a strong password.
New hardware is frequently supplied with a default username and password already set up.
- When you install new hardware with default settings, change both the username and the password immediately. Those credentials will be widely known, and will pose a security risk.
- You should also change preset credentials when installing software.
Strong passwords are a vital part of network security. A strong password is one that:
- is at least seven characters long
- contains a mixture of letters, numerals and symbols
- does not contain a commonly used word or name.
The default security policy in Windows XP Professional and Windows 2003 restricts the use of accounts which have a blank password.