Techie Tip of the Week: Pick a Good Password

Setting a good password is critical to ensuring computer security.

Here are some tips for creating a good password:

  1. Longer is better — at least 9 characters.
  2. Remove all the vowels from a short phrase (e.g., llctsrgry — “All cats are gray”)
  3. Use an acronym: choose the first or second letter of your favorite quotation (e.g, itsotfitd — “It’s the size of the fight in the dog”)
  4. Mix letters and non-letters in your passwords. (Non-letters include numbers and all punctuation characters on the keyboard.)
  5. Transform a phrase by using numbers or punctuation (e.g., UR1drful — you are wonderful).
  6. Consider using a phrase instead of a word. Pass phrases are sentences or parts of a sentence, and, as such, tend to be easier to remember than passwords. When picking a pass phrase, try to have the phrase be at least 15 characters in length. The reason pass phrases work (and, in fact, are better than passwords) is that the increased length provides so many possible permutations that password-cracking programs have greater difficulty in cracking the code.
    • Decent password: tgT!b8tu  (stands for the good, the bad, and the ugly, with some alternating uppercase and lowercase letters and substituting numerals and punctuation for letters or spaces)
    • Better pass phrase: The good, the bad, and the ugly is my number 1 favorite movie of all time because of the acting, the themes involved, and the plot.
    • Even better pass phrase (substituting ‘zero’ for ‘o’): The G00d, the Bad, & the Ugly is my #1 fav0rite m0vie 0f all time because 0f the acting, the themes inv0lved, and the pl0t.

More tips like these can be found at

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