How To Create Strong Passwords

The first step in protecting your online privacy is creating a safe password—i.e. one that a computer program or persistent individual won't easily be able to guess in a short period of time.

Your new password must:

  • be between 7-64 characters in length
  • contain both upper and lower case characters
  • contain at least 1 number
  • contain at least one of these special characters @ # $ % & + = . _ !

Tips for creating a secure password:

  • Mix capital and lower case letters, punctuation marks, special characters, and numbers. Long and complex passwords are safest.
  • Create a unique acronym.
  • Think of something meaningful to you. Make sure it is something you can remember.
  • Include phonetic replacements, such as 'Luv 2 Laf' instead of 'Love to Laugh'.

Things to avoid:

  • Don't use a password that is used as an example of how to pick a good password.
  • Don't use a password that contains personal information (name, birth date, etc.).
  • Don't use words or acronyms that can be found in a dictionary.
  • Don't use simple keyboard patterns (qwerty, asdf) or sequential numbers (1234, 0987).
  • Don't make your password all numbers, uppercase letters, or lowercase letters.
  • Don't use only repeating characters (aa11) or words (toytoy).

Tips for keeping your password secure:

  • Never tell your password to anyone (this includes significant others, friends, roommates, parrots, etc.).
  • Never write your password down.
  • Never send you password via email.
  • Periodically change your password to a new one.
  • Change your password every 90 days