Use the following tips to create secure passwords:
- Do not use personal information. It’s strongly recommended that you don’t include any words related to your name or names of family members or pets in your passwords. Also, don’t include easily recognizable numbers like your address, phone number or birthday.
- Do not use real words. Password cracking tools are very effective at helping attackers guess your password. These programs can process every word in the dictionary, plus letter and number combinations until a match is found. Steer clear of using “real” words from the dictionary or proper nouns or names. *Use mixed characters. By combining uppercase letters with lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters such as “&” or “$” you increase the complexity of your password and decrease the chances of someone hacking into your system.
- Create longer passwords. It is generally recommended that passwords be at least eight characters in length. Probability dictates that longer passwords are harder to crack.
- Modify easy-to-remember phrases. One tip is to think up a pass-phrase, like a line from a song, and then use the first letter from each word, substituting numbers for some of the letters. For example: “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” could become “10oBb0tW”.