Follow these to rules to create a strong password that is hard to hack.
Strong Password Rules
- When possible, use at least 12 characters. Never use less than 8.
- Use a variety of characters including letters, numbers, punctuation, and upper and lower case. The greater the variety, the stronger your password will be.
- Avoid using real words from any language.
- Avoid using real words spelled backwards, abbreviations or common misspellings.
- Avoid using repeated characters or rows of adjacent keyboard characters.
- Never use personal information such as your birthday, driver’s license number, family member or pet’s name.
- Never use your username as your password.
- Test your password with an online password checker to determine its strength.
Having trouble coming up with a good password on your own? Google “free online password generator” for help creating a strong password.
If you’re on a Mac running a recent version of OS X, your system comes with a built in password assistant. This tool can generate passwords that are easy to remember but hard to crack. To access this tool, go to System Preferences > Accounts and click on your account. Click on Change Password, then click on the key icon to see a password suggestion meeting various criteria. Click on the down arrow next to the suggested password to see more suggestions.