Enforce password requirements

How to set for complexity in passwords.

All organizations should have a written information security policy that stipulates guidelines in the way users should maintain their user account passwords. To help enforce these guidelines Windows 2000 Professional offers a simple, yet in some cases overlooked, feature. When enabled it allows you to setup such instances as password lengths that can contain special characters etc.

Standalone Workstation
Login with Administrator Privileges
Click Start | Programs | Administrative Tools | Local Security Policy
In the Local Security Settings window expand Account Policies
Then click Password Policy.
In the right pane double-click "Passwords must meet complexity requirements."
Select "enabled" then click OK.
Once enabled you can then set the password features listed by clicking on each of the features in the right-hand pane.

Workstations On A LAN
To implement this feature on Windows 2000 Professional workstations on a network you can use Group Policy Object. The link below includes a detailed procedure for doing this: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=KB;en-us;q225230.

Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association Of Internet Professionals, the Institute For Network Professionals, and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.


This was first published in December 2002
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