Top tips when setting passwords

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Setting a strong password is an important step in managing endpoint security.

It will provide the first line of defence against unauthorised access to your computer and personal information. The stronger your password, the stronger your first line of defence.

  • What should you stay away from when creating a password?
  • How do create a strong password?
  • This is a step-by-step guide on how to a strong password.

What to stay away from?

The obvious:

Putting personal information as your password: This can be anything from your dogs name, address, hobby or anything else someone could pull from your social media.

A simple pattern: simple patterns such as 1234abccba4321 are too simple, they can be guessed easily and they are common.

A short password: If your password is only a few letters long there isn't that much to guess making it easy to hack.

Not using the same password for each account: Even if your password is good if it gets guessed on one account that means that everything else is now vulnerable.

You could also consider:

Not using password generators and managers: Even though password generators create strong passwords they aren't easy to remember so people often use a password manager to remember them which defeats the purpose of having them. Password managers can be handy but if someone gets into your laptop they can problem access the password manager.

What should a password have in it?

The ideal password should have 12 characters: This is best to have as its long enough that it will be hard to guess but not too long that it takes forever to type in and isn't hard to remember.

A mixture of upper and lower case: This will make the password unpredictable if you put these in randomly through out the password.

Including a special character (!#@?): Putting one of these in a random placement into your password can through off a pattern in the password making it harder to guess.

Using numbers instead of letters: Instead of an i or o put a ! or 0

It should be Memorable: If you can't remember a password your more likely to save it or write it down meaning someone is more likely to find it out.

How do I include all of this and make it memorable?

Using personal information can help in the memory department but you have to use it in the correct way:

Putting your daughters name and age won't work (becky4) but if you combined this with something else, say her favourite film you can get a strong password (bECkY4fr0zEn!). By putting in capitals, replacing the O with a 0 and adding the ! at the end you can make a strong, memorable password.

You can use this technique with anything. Whats your dogs name, how old is he, what's his favourite toy, treat or activity? 8 Buster Walk : 8BusTer#w4Lk


Creating a secure password is the start to keeping your passwords secure but there is more you can do.

Changing your password every 6 months keeps it fresh and stops people from getting hold of your current password.

Try to avoid typing it in on a computer you don't trust and never save it on a computer that isn't yours.

Try to avoid saving or writing down passwords as much as you can.

Other ways to keep your tech safe:

This is the very first step in keeping your technology safe. To find out more about cyber security take a look at our cybersecurity page.

We can help you with:

  • User awareness training
  • Cyber essentials
  • Penetration testing
  • End point security
  • Back up and recovery

See Also

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Find out how else you can improve your cybersecurity:

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