Create a good password

Weak passwords are easily broken by hackers with dictionary-based password cracking programs. This is a problem for system security, and thus is not allowed. Accounts with weak passwords will be closed. More information about user security is available.

Tips for a secure password

  • Passwords should be longer than 8 characters. Within reason, the longer the password is, the more secure it is. Remember this is something you will need to repeatedly type in. Don't go overboard with it.
  • Passwords should contain at least 3 of the 4 character types:
  1. UPPERCASE letters: A-Z
  2. lowercase letters: a-z
  3. numbers: 0-9
  4. symbols: ~`!@#$%^&*()_-+={[}]|\:;"'<,>.?/
  • Do not use all letters or all numbers, and do not use a dictionary word in any language or a permutation of such. Dictionaries of all languages are available online, and not all hackers speak English. Also avoid using your name, account name, common names of people or places, technical jargon, repeating sequences and keyboard sequences.
  • Do not use a well-known phrase to generate a password. This approach may be vulnerable to a dictionary attack using dictionaries compiled from popular media phrases. A paper entitled Human Selection of Mnemonic Phrase-Based Passwords, by C. Kuo, S. Romanosky, and L. Cranor of Carnegie Mellon University’s CUPS Laboratory explores this potential threat.

Examples:

Good Passwords (But don't use these! Make your own!)

  • Mhtiasp!   Based on “My home town is a small place!”
  • Mh714sp!   Based on “My home 7own 1s 4 small place!”
  • .-Mcismf--.   Based on “.-Morse code is so much fun --.”
  • 2Tamlamt   Based on line 2 of Shakespeare’s Sonnet #18 “Thou art more lovely and more temperate”

Bad Passwords

  • mypasswo - Obviously plain-text based (“mypassword”)
  • kathy5 - Name-based
  • ........ - Repeating sequence
  • abcabc - Repeating sequence
  • dr1v3way - Word-based with common letter/number substitution
  • gandalf1 - Based on the name of a character from The Hobbit
  • triskeli - Based on a word from Star Trek (“triskelion”)
  • ykmfptd! - Based on a quote from the movie Princess Bride: “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!”