Choosing a password

Password security isn't just a matter of thinking up a nice word and keeping it to yourself. You must choose a password which will be difficult for someone else to guess or crack.

We often have a tendency to forget passwords, so we choose something that has particular relevance to ourselves: the name of a loved one, our favorite car, sport, or ice cream, etc. Anyone knowing a little about us can make a list of these words and easily crack the password. All-digit passwords usually fall into this category - birth dates, phone numbers.

Observe the following guidelines when choosing your password:

  • A password should be at least 7 characters long.
  • NEVER make your password a name or something familiar, like your pet, your children, or partner. Favorite authors and foods are also guessable.
  • NEVER, under any circumstances, should your password be the same as your username or your real name.
  • DON'T use words that can be associated with you.
  • Do not have a password consisting of a word from a dictionary. Most basic cracking programs contain over 80000 words, and plenty of variations.
  • Try to have a password with a number or mixed case letters. Simple substitutions like a '1' for an 'i', and '0' for an 'O' are easily guessed. Add a '%' or '$' to the middle of the password.
  • Choose something you can remember, that can be typed quickly and accurately and includes characters other than lowercase letters.


  • Made-up "words" - chok-bel (can be "pronounced", has a punctuation character)
  • Personal acronyms - ihc,alt (I Hate Coffee, And Love Tea)

NOTE: Please do not use the examples, get creative and make your own! (We do check for these passwords!). Password audits will be done in the future, if your password is discovered by the software that we run, you may be asked to change it.

If you have any questions about any of this, please contact the Service Desk via email or #7272