Complex Password Guide

We wanted to provide some helpful best practices for keeping your passwords strong and secure as provided by our partners and security awareness experts, KnowBe4.  

Tips for Password Security:

  • Keep your passwords private – never share a password with anyone else.

  • Do not write down your passwords.

  • Use passwords of at least eight (8) characters or more (longer is better).

  • Use a combination of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers,
    and special characters (for example: !, @, &, %, +) in all passwords.

  • Avoid using people’s or pet’s names, or words found in the dictionary;
    it’s also best to avoid using key dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).

  • Substituting look-alike characters for letters or numbers is no longer
    sufficient (for example, Password” and “P@ssw0rd”).

  • A strong password should look like a series of random characters.

How to Create a Strong and Complex Password (Follow These Steps):

  1. Think of a phrase or sentence with at least eight words. It should be something easy for you to remember but hard for someone who knows you to guess. It could be a line from a favorite poem, story, movie, song, lyric, or quotation you like. 
    • Example - I Want To Put A Dent In The Universe.
  2. Remove all but the first letter of each word in your phrase.
    • Example - IWTPADITU
  3. Replace several of the upper-case letters with lower-case ones, at random. 
    • Example - iWtpADitU
  4. Now substitute a number for at least one of the letters.
    • Example - iWtpAD1tU (Here, we’ve changed the capital “I” to the numeral 1).
  5. Finally, use special characters ( $, &, +, !, @) to replace a letter or two -- preferably a letter that is repeated in the phrase. You can also add an extra character to the mix. (Here, we’ve replaced the “t” with “+”, and added an exclamation point at the end.)
    • Example - iW+pAD1tU!
    • Pro Tip - Don't use the password listed here as your password!

If you are looking for help with either security awareness training or password management for your team - please reach out to INT - we would love to help! 

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