Create A Strong Password

Creating Unique Passwords: Requirements and Recommendations

Passwords are required to be at least eight (8) characters in length and consist of both letters and numbers. Passwords will expire every 90 days. The last five (5) passwords used will be stored by the system and cannot be used twice, therefore users will be obliged to create a new password every 90 days.

It is recommended that a password contain a combination of upper and lower case letters as well as numbers. The following tips can be helpful when creating unique passwords.

Tip 1

Create a phonetic sentence using the pronounced sounds of the letters, numbers, or special characters.

  • Examples

    • I10D24GET "I tend to forget."
    • RULOSTIM2 "Are you lost I am too!"
    • 187LBS2DAY? "I ate seven pounds today."

Tip 2

Join short, unrelated words with numbers or other characters in between.

  • Examples

    • O2CATSAY
    • BEES4PAWS
    • W1N2TER60OF
    • AND4BLACK13
    • GRAY1POUR
    • CAT2HAT

Tip 3

Use the first letter of each word in a poem or song until you have enough letters (e.g., at least six).

  • Examples

    • JAJWUTH "Jack and Jill went up the hill"
    • HINSNJA "Help! I need somebody. Not just anybody"

Tip 4

Mirror a word (in either direction); repeat process or truncate letters as needed to get appropriate length

  • Examples

    • GUSTTSUG
    • AREERA
    • BOYYOBBOY
    • FILLOLLIF

Tip 5

Use every other letter in a phrase until you have enough letters.

  • Examples

    • NWSHTMFR "Now is the time for all..."
    • TBONTOEH "To be or not to be, that..."

Tip 6

Take someone else's full name that you can easily remember. Divide it into segments or blocks of the length you need for your password. You may rotate back through the name again if you need additional letters or truncate any extra letters. Drop the first block. Use any other block that is not an exact match for a proper name or word.

  • Examples

    • John Quincy Adams JOHNQUIN (Drop) CYADAMSJ (Keep)
    • Alexander Graham Bell ALEXANDE (Drop) ERGRAHAM (Keep)

Tip 7

Take a word from the dictionary that is long enough to qualify as a password. Replace some or all of the vowels with numbers.

  • Examples

    • Mornings M1RN2GS
    • Psychotic PS3CH4T5C
    • Beancounter BE6NCO7NT8R

Tip 8

This one creates difficult passwords. Using the telephone keypad (but assigning Q and T to the number I) as shown, choose a number you can easily remember and translate it into letters. If your number includes a zero, just keep the 0 as the character for your password. You will note that for each number (except zero) you will have at least two letter choices.

  • Examples

    • 12345678 QADILORT or ZBEHKNRU
    • 24689753 CIMUXRLE or AGMTWPJD
    • 10078699 Z00STOVVY or QO0RUNXX

Tip 9

Take a word from the dictionary (or a proper name you like) that is long enough to qualify as a password. Put all of the vowels together and all of the consonants together.

  • Examples

    • Friends IEFRNDS
    • Douglas OUADGLS

These techniques may help users to invent techniques of their own. Just using a technique of some sort improves one's ability to memorize a password.

Obviously, passwords must not be written down or stored where someone might discover them. Moreover, as good as the examples used here are, users should not adopt them as their own. They may find their way into some password-cracking dictionary.