How to Create Complex Passwords
Strong passwords are those that are difficult to guess and are difficult to crack using widely available software. Here are some techniques for building a strong and memorable password.
- Two or three unrelated short words connected with a special character, e.g. Ugly%Duck
- Chose a word and substitute special characters and/or numbers for some letters, e.g. impossible = Im%o$$Ible
- Chose a line from a song or poem and use first letter of each word with some various capitalization pattern, e.g. Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away = @YaMtSoFa$
- Phonetically spell or misspell two or three words, e.g. Polece$chaZ
- Make your password at least 8 characters in length. Longer passwords are more difficult to hack.
- Don't use any part of your actual name or the user name you use to log in to your account
- Make sure you include different characters when creating a password. Try to fit all four types:
- Lower case a-z
- Upper case A-Z
- Numbers 0-9
- Special characters, e.g. $#@!%^&()+-
Pay attention to general state of your account and/or system. If something has changed or appears different, change your password and investigate the situation.
Try to remember that your account/password is your responsibility, and any activity performed while you or someone else has logged in with them is your responsibility.
Examples of complex passwords:
I know what you're thinking: "Wait a minute - How am I supposed to remember that?"
- Take a phrase that is easy for you to remember and convert it into characters.
- It could be the first line of a poem or a song lyric.
- "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink" (Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner) converts to Wwe&nadtd.
- “We Three Kings from Orient Are” converts to w3KfOr3691.
(3691 is the year 1963 spelled backward to extend beyond eight characters.)
How to Change your Net ID Password