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Below, we've compiled a few helpful hints on how to create a password plus some suggestions on what constitutes a good or bad password, and how to protect your password once you establish it:

   Password Strategies

  • Take the first letter of each word in a recognizable phrase. For example, the phrase "our daughter was born on August 10, 1999" can be used to generate this password "odwbo081099". A variation of this scheme is to use the last letter of each word.
  • Use misspellings or numeric substitution to letters. For example, the password "th1sagr8tt1m3" can be read as "this is a great time" with the number "1" standing for the letter "i", "3" for "e", and "8" for "eat".
  • Drop vowels off a long word or phrase, then sprinkle the result with some numbers. For example, the password "1hpptms2" comes from "hippopotamus" with all vowels removed and 1 and 2 added to each end. 

   Some Considerations

   Confusing characters

    Be careful about using letters or numbers that may be confused with one another. Some computers may display these characters better than others. When recording your password for safekeeping, be sure to write these characters in a way that you can easily distinguish them.
  • 0 (number zero) and O (capital 'O')

  • 0 (number zero) and Q (capital 'Q')

  • 1 (number one) and l (lowercase 'l')

   "Good" Passwords

  • Easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess correctly.

  • 8 or more characters long. 

  • Combination of upper case and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuations.

  • Have some kind of story that is easy to remember.

   "Bad" Passwords

  • Prone to be forgotten or easy to guess correctly.

  • Any word in an English or foreign dictionary.

  • Telephone numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, street addresses, common names.

  • Predictable sequences of numbers (such as '123') or letters (such as 'qwerty').

  • Common phrases or quotes.

  • Anything shorter than 6 letters.

   Password Safekeeping

  • Memorize your password and keep a record of it in a secure place.

  • When signing in, you are prompted to save your username and password for next time. Only check the checkbox if you are SURE that unauthorized people cannot access your computer.

  • Change your password whenever you suspect password security has been compromised.

   Password Non-Reuse

    Credential stuffing is a cyberattack where stolen credentials (usernames and passwords) are stolen from one site, and retried at other sites since users tend to reuse the same credential.
  • Do not re-use a password that you have used at another site.

  • Do not re-use the password you enter here for another site.

  • Check to see if a password you plan to enter has been compromised.