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Passwords are an important aspect of any computing environment. This article will give examples and links to information on using good passwords.

Password rules

  1. Make your password as long as possible. The longer it is, the more difficult it will be to attack the password with a brute-force search. Always use at least 6 characters in your password, at least two of which are numeric.
  2. Use as many different characters as possible when forming your password. Use numbers, punctuation characters and, when possible, mixed upper and lower-case letters. Choosing characters from the largest possible alphabet will make your password more secure.
  3. Do not use personal information in your password that someone else is likely to be able to figure out. Obviously, things like your name, phone number, and address are to be avoided. Even names of acquaintances and the like should not be used.
  4. Do not use words, geographical names, or biographical names that are listed in standard dictionaries.
  5. Never use a password that is the same as your account number.
  6. Do not use passwords that are easy to spot while you're typing them in. Passwords like 12345, qwerty (i.e., all keys right next to each other), or nnnnnn should be avoided.

In short,

  1. Use a combination of letters and numbers
  2. Don't use a word that is personally identifiable to you, ie. your name, your favourite sports team or your pet's name
  3. Use a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters
  4. Don't use words found in a dictionary.

For example, the password Iw21wIfvP, a difficult to remember string, derives from "I was 21 when I first visited Paris", possibly easily remembered. Adding some non-alphanumeric characters to this password and you will have a fairly strong one.

Examples of "good" passwords


External links