How do I choose a good password?

It can be difficult to choose a good password: the password should be fairly long and shouldn’t be guessable, but at the same time it should be easy to remember. If the password is difficult to remember, you will find that you need to write it down. When choosing a password you should:


  • Make the password at least 8 characters long. Shorter passwords are easily cracked.
  • Intersperse upper and lowercase letters throughout the password.
  • Include numbers and punctuation in the password.
  • Choose a password that you can remember.
  • Choose a password that you can type quickly. This guards against someone finding your password by watching you type it.


To create an effective password you should also avoid the following:


  • Using any word in the dictionary.
  • Using two short words separated by a symbol or numbers. This used to be recommended as a good way to choose a password, but many cracking programs now check for it.
  • Using any proper name especially the name of a geographical location or famous person.
  • Using a sequence of letters from the keyboard like “qwerty” or “ujmnhy”.
  • Using a sequence of numbers like “3456”.
  • Using the first letter of each word in a phrase from a published book, song or poem. This used to be recommended as a good way to choose a password, but many cracking programs now check passwords against famous literary passages.
  • Using personal information in your password like your social security number; birthday; address; phone number; employee or student ID; or the first or last name of yourself, your family, friends or pets.
  • Using a password related to a favorite hobby, TV show, movie, song or celebrity. Avoid any topic that people know you enjoy.