Choosing a secure password or passphrase

It is important that passwords and passphrases are selected and protected in a manner that maximises their effectiveness in protecting University and personal information.

A secure password should ideally:

  • contain a mix of upper case (A-Z), lower case (a-z), numerals (0-9), and ideally special characters (such as ^, !, @ and %)
  • be at least 17 characters long
  • not be a simple dictionary word, well-known quote, song lyric
  • not be based on your name or other things about you (like the name of a pet or favourite sporting team).

passphrase is a random combination of letters, numbers and keyboard symbols. To create a secure passphrase:

  • pick a nonsense phrase-for example, Orange bishop nightingale, and
  • mix the phrase up a little-Orange4bishop?Nightingale!