Choosing a secure password
When choosing your passwords:
- keep all account log in and system passwords private
- never write down your passwords or share them with anyone
- use a strong password - at least 12 characters with upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters like asterisks or currency symbols
Don't choose a password based on any personal data such as your name, age, or your address. Avoid using words (English or otherwise) as well as any proper names, names of television shows, keyboard sequence or anything else that can be easily guessed or identified.
Putting punctuation marks or other symbols at the beginning or end of words is not advised either.
For security, passwords should be a minimum of 12 characters long and contain a mixture of digits, letters and non-alphanumeric characters.
Methods for choosing
While there are no perfect methods of selecting a password, we have identified a few tips and tricks to try and help.
Make up a sentence you can easily remember.
- My uncle Joe walks his 3 dogs in the park every morning.
- I like to eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for dinner
Now, take the first letter of each word in the sentence and include the punctuation. You can add extra punctuation in if you like, or turn numbers into digits for variety and add special characters. The sentences would become:
Don't write your password down
You should avoid writing down your password or giving it to others. You should especially avoid writing it down and leaving it in a non-secured place such as on a post-it on your monitor or a piece of paper in your desk. If you absolutely must write something down, we suggest doing the following:
- don't write down the entire password, but rather a hint that would allow you (but nobody else) to reconstruct it
- keep whatever is written down in your wallet or other place that only you have access to and where you would immediately notice if it was missing or someone else gained access to it