Information Security Office
Choosing a Secure Password
A secure password is one of the most important ways to help protect your computer and personal information. Although the goal to make passwords difficult for others to figure out, creating strong passwords is pretty simple and straightforward. Use the following tips to protect your accounts from unwanted access.
Passwords should be a minimum of eight characters or longer if possible. In general, the longer the password, the better.
Use various numbers, symbols, and punctuation when possible. Also try to mix upper case and lower case letters. This also increases the strength of the password.
Your name, spouse's name, kids names, dog's name, mom or dad's name, high school, hometown, ...you get the idea. Many of these may be found on the Internet. Use things that are truly unrelated to you.
There are programs out that can go through a dictionary and try every word as your password. This includes foreign language dictionaries.
Words like qwerty, tryout, 12345, and hhhhh should all be off limits. These are easy for someone to pick out if they happen to glance over your shoulder while you are typing your password.
Changing your password once a month is a good habit to start. This will keep hackers on their toes and keep someone from being able to access your account if by some means they have acquired your previous password.
In your wallet, under a keyboard, on your dorm dresser, these are all terrible places to keep your "secure" password. The most secure place to keep your password, is in your head. If you must write it down though, put it in a place that will be locked up, and difficult to find.
Use off-the-wall words & phrases.
Shark_batE (notice the capitalization and underscore)
Put words inside of words.
Flip words and put in different places.
Misspell words on purpose.
Use the first letters in a phrase.
IsIpC. ( Information Security Is Pretty Cool .)
Use visually similar characters.
Change S to $ or 5, Change O to zero, Change I to one, Change Z to 2, change G to 6, change g to 9, change B to 8.
Example phrase: "Protecting information at BGSU!" Pia86$U!