How to manage your user’s Windows passwords with Group Policy

Hello Guys, I am back again with my new article on Windows Password. In this article, You can learn How to manage User’s Windows Password with Group Policy. If you have any issue regarding this problem mention in comment section.

You want some extra in password then you can enforce various policies to make sure your users meet certain requirements with their Windows passwords. Learn about some of the password-related settings in Group Policy.

Passwords are always a frustrating catch-22 for any organization. Users would prefer to use simple Windows passwords that are easy to remember and type, but you want those passwords to be strong and complex as a way to protect your users and business. If you use Group Policy at your Organization, you can at least set certain password policies to ensure a minimum level of security. Here’s how.

1. Open your Group Policy editor. You may want to test this out on your current computer initially by using the local Group policy editor. You can then segue to your domain’s Group Policy console when it’s time to create and deploy the settings for everyone.

2. At the search field, type gpedit.msc.

3. At the Local Group Policy editor, navigate to the following setting: Computer Configuration | Windows Settings | Security Settings | Account Policies | Password Policy. You’ll find the specific policies that you can set. Let’s review each one.

Enforce password history. This policy restricts users from creating passwords they’ve already used. The purpose is to ensure any previous password that potentially may have been leaked or stolen is not reused. If you enable password history, you can set a specific number of previous passwords that cannot be reused, anywhere from 1 to 24.

Maximum password age. This policy forces users to change their passwords on a regular basis by expiring them after a certain period of time. The default is 42 days, but you can set this to anywhere from 1 day to 999 days.(not advisable!)

Minimum password age. This policy prevents a user from changing a password too quickly after creating a new one. The goal is to prevent users from cycling through all their old passwords until they find one allowed by the policy. It’s also designed to hackers who may obtain an existing password and then reset it to one of their choosing. You can set it so that the password can be changed after anywhere from 1 day to 998 days `

Minimum password length: This policy specifies the minimum number of characters required for a Windows password. You can set the length to anywhere from 1 to 20 characters. The longer the password, the more difficult it is for a hacker to guess it through brute force attacks and other means.

Password must mean complexity requirements. This policy determines what types of characters are allowed and required for your user passwords. If enabled, user passwords must:

  • Not contain the user’s account name or parts of the user’s full name that exceed two consecutive characters.
  • Be at least six characters in length.
  • Contain characters from three of the following four categories:
    • English uppercase characters (A through Z)
    • English lowercase characters (a through z)
    • Base 10 digits (0 through 9)
    • Non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, #, %)

When setting this policy in conjunction with the minimum password length, you want to aim for the right balance between security and ease of use. A complex Windows password offers greater protection.F

Store passwords using reversible encryption. This policy stores strong passwords using reversible encryption, an option that may be needed for applications that require knowledge of user passwords for authentication. However, this leaves your passwords more vulnerable, so you’ll want to keep this policy disabled unless absolutely necessary.F

These are the core password policies, though you will find other password-related settings in Group Policy, including the ones for Account Lockout Policy and those for Security Options under Local Policies.

Also, keep in mind that the password policies offered through Group Policy only go so far. In Microsoft post about password expiration policy, even Microsoft has acknowledged that “we must reiterate that we strongly recommend additional protections even though they cannot be expressed in our baselines.” For that reason, you need to supplement your Group Policy settings with more advanced and sophisticated methods to ensure that user’s passwords are as secured and as protected as possible.

I hope you enjoy our post and be careful when you change your group policies and if you have any issue regarding this mention in Comment Section.

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