The following is recommended for passwords that you need to remember (i.e. ones you use frequently, such as your University account’s password):

  • Use a passphrase made up of four or more unrelated but memorable words or symbols (for example: telephone mouse pirate rain)
  • While the minimum length is often 8 characters, 12 or longer is recommended and is easily achievable with three or four words
  • You should keep the spaces or change them to a different character where possible, for example / or = as this makes the password stronger
  • If you can use a word out of a different language this will also improve strength, e.g. maus instead of mouse

The length of the password is more important than the complexity. The more words you use, the more secure your password.

Do not use:

  • One or two dictionary words with a number or symbol (e.g. computer123), keyboard sequences, (e.g., 123456, qwerty123, or qazwsxedc), or personal information
  • "Random" password-generating software or websites
  • Your University password for anything but University IT systems
  • The same password across different services like your bank account and university systems

Contact AskOtago if you have any questions about creating a strong password.