Tag Archives: ITS

Longer passwords are stronger passwords

It’s simple, the longer your password is the stronger it is. A password of 12 characters is estimated to be 13 million times stronger than an eight character password and a 16 character password is estimated to be over 166 trillion times stronger than an 8 character password.

At UC we recommend you use passwords of 10-16 characters in length for UC systems. But let’s take a minute to talk about passwords. Exciting isn’t it?

Do you use a key for your front door? Are you happy giving it to strangers? No? This is the same thing, so it’s an important conversation and worth having. Being digitally security-aware is just as important as being home security-aware.

Here’s the thing:

Remember just three passwords, and that is it:

  1. Your bank password – don’t use this for anything else
  2. Your work password – don’t use this for anything else
  3. Your password manager password – don’t use this for anything else. See more about password managers at www.canterbury.ac.nz/its/cybersecurity

Why? Some accounts are more important than others, especially your work and your bank, so have individual passwords for them, and then one more for your password manager.

Tips to create a strong password;

  • Don’t use common dictionary words – Eg. orange, car, password
  • Don’t use sequential letters or numbers – Ex. 12345, abcde
  • Don’t use repeated letters/numbers or keyboard patterns – Ex. 111, aaa, qwerty, asdfgh

Longer passwords are stronger passwords – as long as you stick to the rules above too.

Are you using the same password for everything?

It sounds like a clever strategy to avoid forgetting which is which, right? But have you noticed how those online security breaches just seem to keep happening? Using the same password means that if it falls into the wrong hands, then that person has your password to everything. It’s worth taking a moment to think about what that could include.

Find out more about cyber security at UC, visit www.canterbury.ac.nz/its/cybersecurity

Select Non-Consecutive Paragraphs and Format Them

When you’re formatting a long and unwieldy Word document (or email), it is useful to know some tricks that make the job  easier. One of these is selecting non-consecutive paragraphs and applying formatting to only those paragraphs.

To select non-consecutive paragraphs:

    1. Select your first paragraph
    2. Press the Ctrl key (hold it down)
    3. Select your next paragraph
    4. Keep the Ctrl key held down
    5. Select your next paragraph

Now apply formatting, being careful not to de-select the selected paragraphs.

Only the paragraphs you selected will be formatted.


For great time-saving tips, look up:
Being more efficient with your technology
Technology Information for Staff website

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Got some suggestions? Please leave a comment below or let me know.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

Tech Tip: How Efficient!

What are the Top 5 things you can do to be more productive in Word, Excel, Outlook, etc?

Look up Being more efficient with your technology to find out!


For other great time-saving tips, look up:
Technology Information for Staff website

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Got some suggestions? Please leave a comment below or let me know.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

The Crucial Shortcut to PowerPoint’s Slide Show View

Yesterday I had to make a last-minute emergency edit to a PowerPoint presentation after the audience had already come into the room. I managed to get it done but the wireless mouse wasn’t working properly, so getting back into Slide Show view in a hurry was proving to be a nightmare!

F5 key to the rescue!

Pressing F5 or Shift+F5 will take you straight into presentation view.

F5 starts the slide show from the beginning (ie, from the first slide)
Shift F5 starts the slide show from the current slide.

Write them down and stick them to your laptop because you WILL be grateful!


For great time-saving tips, look up:
Being more efficient with your technology
Technology Information for Staff website

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Got some suggestions? Please leave a comment below or let me know.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

Remove Duplicates in Excel

If you have ever needed to remove duplicates from a database in Excel, you will know how incredibly useful this tip is.

This is so simple and quick to use. Remove Duplicates does exactly what you’d expect — it removes the duplicates in any given range of data.

Excel’s Remove Duplicates tool is found:
– on the Data Ribbon…
– in the Data Tools section of the Ribbon.

BONUS: If you just want to highlight duplicates, you can do this using Conditional Formatting. The shortcut to get you there is Alt H L. (Or find it on the Home ribbon under Styles).

Thanks to Harvard Business Review for this tip.
If you have a Tech Tip suggestion, please let me know.


For great time-saving tips,
look up our tips on Being more efficient with your technology or look through the the Technology Information for Staff website.

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Please leave a comment below.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.