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Creating the Perfect Password

This blog entry expired September 25, 2017. It may contain out-of-date information.

There is no perfect password, but there are different techniques that can create an “almost” perfect password. First, there is no right way to create a password. Quality passwords come in a variety of forms. A password with 12 characters or one with 5 characters that is loaded with symbols, could both be considered a quality password. The goal is to create strong passwords that are difficult for someone else to figure out. Here are some tips for creating a strong password, and for additional password tips be sure to check out the strong password guidelines page on the IT website. 

Length

Longer is better. The more characters passwords contain, the harder they are to guess. Many websites have a required minimum password length, but experts suggest between 8 and 12 characters. 

Symbols

Add a variety of capital letters, numbers and symbols to your password to improve its strength. Symbols and numbers can separate words and replace similar-looking characters, making it harder for people to guess your password. 

Create a Password from a Sentence

Form a sentence that is easy and memorable, then take the first letter from each word to create your password. For example, the sentence “I love my dog patches” creates the password iLmdP, which is easy to remember but difficult for others to decipher.  

Tell a Story 

Create a password by telling a story.  Abbreviate words and substitute letters with symbols to ultimately craft one long word to use as a password. Telling a story about your summer plans to hang out at the pool with friends could generate the password hang@p00lenD5. 

Avoid clichés

Do not use common words or phrases that could be guessed easily for your password. Avoid relying on keyboard patterns, which is a common way hackers retrieve people’s passwords. Skip passwords like “password” or “1234” because they're the first thing hackers will try. Instead, use letters and symbols to create a long, unforgettable password perfect for you.