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Complex Password - Special Character Keys Careful

Long complex password is almost compulsory for most organisations for service or administrator accounts. When you ask the security team they will say use the longest and most complex password that the system will accept. Usually this includes a combination of uppercase, lowercase, special characters and numbers. 

I am happy to comply with this request and it can be a pain to type these long complex passwords without getting it wrong. Over the years there is one thing I have noticed and that is to be careful when using special characters, especially if you have systems in different countries that have different keyboard layout for that particular system.

For example on a "US" keyboard the “@” sign is above the number 2 where on a "UK" keyboard it is by the Enter key.

Reason I am highlighting this is because there has been times where I have logged on to a “jump” (RDP) box to access various systems and not realised that the keyboard on that system was set to "US" or something else. I could be using my mac/windows desktop where the keyboard layout is set to "UK" and would be typing away the password and the system would not be accepting my password which sometimes end up locking the account out. This could be very frustrating if you was trying to resolve a major problem.


So please in future when you are setting these long complex password, have a think about what keyboard layout your administrators could be using and select characters where the positions of those keys are the same for their layouts too. Hopefully this will prevent system administrators from making mistakes like me and possibly locking out a very important account. 

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