Manage Password

Modified on Sun, 24 Sep 2023 at 04:40 PM

How do I create a good (strong) password?

A strong password is one that is difficult for a person or program to discover but is easy for you to remember. Apply the following guidelines when creating your password.


Use more than the 6 minimum required characters (use at least 8 characters).

The best passwords combine characters from all 4 character groups: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols (e.g., "w9!Ec@Q4").

Don't use names (first, last or middle), initials or nicknames of people, pets, or places.

Don't use birth dates, anniversaries or dates of any kind.

Don't use words contained in a dictionary (including foreign and technical dictionaries), spelling list, or other word list. Also, don't use common abbreviations (e.g., NASA).

Don't use license plate numbers, telephone numbers, identification numbers, the brand of your automobile, the name of the street you live on, etc. Such passwords are very easily guessed by someone who knows you.

Don't use a sample password, no matter how good, that you've gotten from a book, this web site or any other text.

Don't use characters in alphabetical or numerical order, even in reverse (e.g., "cba" or "345"), or keyboard sequences (e.g., "qwerty").

Don't use your merchant code or username in your password.

Don't store your password on paper or online where it can be accessed by others.

Don't reverse the spelling of insecure words (those listed above) in an effort to increase the strength of your password (e.g., using "hcraM", instead of "March"). Hackers use programs that submit words, dates, etc. as-is and in reverse.

Never reveal your password to anyone and be sure that no one is looking over your shoulder when entering your password.

Change your password every 30 to 60 days. If someone has guessed your password, this will prevent continued access.

What is a good strategy for creating strong passwords?

One way to create a strong and memorable password is by using a passphrase. A passphrase can be a song lyric, quotation or any group of words that are memorable to you. Use the first (or last) letters of each word in your passphrase and mix them with uppercase letters, numbers and symbols to create your password.

For example, the passphrase, "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." (a quote from Albert Einstein) could become "rimaI@avp1." Because it's not good to repeat letters, "@" was used in place of the "a" in "albeit." The uppercase "I," along with the use of "1" to replace the "o" in the word "one," makes for a strong password.


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