Cyber Security Tip: Create Strong Passwords


Caption: A word cloud display of the most common passwords used.  Please note some of the words displayed may be inappropriate or offensive to some readers.


October is National Cyber Security Month, and an important part of practicing safe online habits is to pick strong passwords!  Often times, people fall into the trap of selecting generic words, such as password, 123456, and 12345678.  Here are some guidelines for selecting strong and secure passwords:

  • Length. Make your passwords long with eight or more characters.
  • Complexity. Include letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers.  The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better. But remember:  password hacking software automatically checks for common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing “and” to “&” or “to” to “2.”
  • Variation. To keep strong passwords effective, change them often. Set an automatic reminder for yourself to change your passwords on your email, banking, and credit card websites about every three months.
  • Variety. Don’t use the same password for everything. Cybercriminals steal passwords on websites that have very little security, and then they use that same password and user name in more secure environments, such as banking websites.

Please visit UAH to learn more about practicing safe cyber security habits.

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