How to create a strong password


Is your password strong enough?

Do you know how to create a strong password? Is your password “Password”, “Michael1980”, “M1chael” or something similar? These are common passwords and can easily be guessed. The second one does consist of a number, but it’s a number associated with you, and the third one, using a number to replace a letter of your name is just too easy to guess.

Having a strong password makes it difficult to guess by people and computer programmes and ensures your data is protected from unauthorised access. We’ve come up with a few tips to help you create a new password:

  • Use at least 8-16 characters (NOT letters)
  • Use both UPPERCASE and lowercase letters
  • Use numbers
  • You may use symbols such as ! @ £ $ % ^ & * (  ) { } ? | + # € ¡ ¢ ∞ § ¶, however be aware that some platforms may not allow you to use symbols
  • Do not use a password similar to one you have used previously
  • Do not use your name/surname, your families names, your pets names, your friends names
  • Do not use dictionary words
  • Do not use a keyboard pattern, like qwerty, asdfghjkl, cfthnbvg

Get creative! Use an anagram or misspell words. Instead of using your birthdate 13121980, use M¡Brthd8•l2l3l98o, or your favourite sports team, eg tH3_5pr1ng8okz.

If you are going to write your password down, do not label it “password” and do not keep it near your computer. 

Remember to check that the symbols can be used on your mobile phone and on any apps you may use on both your phone and desktop.

Why would you need to change your password?

Well, other users may have access to your computer and if you’ve saved your password on it, they might be able to access it. Also, there are online hazards like the Heartbleed Bug which can access your personal data, so changing your password is one of the ways to keep your information safe.