skip to primary navigationskip to content

Choosing a strong password

Choosing a safe and memorable password is easy. Today's advice is to make passwords long, rather than complex.

Top tips



Make your password as long as possible. Use at least 12 characters.

Don't use simple passwords like 123456, qwerty, password, letmein, football and Cambridge. They're very easy to crack.

Use a combination of upper and lower case. You can also use symbols, such as £, $, & and !

Don't use your work passwords for personal accounts, such as your Amazon or Netflix account.

Consider using a passphrase, as these make strong passwords. They're combinations of unconnected words separated by another character, for example:


Don't give your password information out in a phone call or email.

Be discreet when typing in your passwords. Make sure others don't see you keying it in.

Don't write passwords down.

If you use your own devices (such as a phone, tablet or laptop) for work, make sure they're secured by a password or pin.

Don't share your University passwords with anyone.

Check to see how long it would take a computer to crack your password at


Do change your password immediately if you think it has been compromised. You can do this at the UIS Password Management site. You can also set up your password recovery options there.


Do use a password manager like LastPass to remember all your passwords.

Check to see if your account has been used in a scam by checking on a site like If it has, make sure you do not use the password that has been compromised elsewhere.


Ask your local Computer Officer or the UIS Service Desk for advice or help.


We've created a Moodle course that contains a series of short films and quizzes explaining different online safety issues, with lots of helpful hints and tips.

Enrol in the course

UIS Service Status

Phone padded  Service status line: (01223) 463085
Website  Sign up for SMS/email status alerts
Website  Read major IT incident reports

UIS bITe-size bulletin

A regular newsletter aimed at the University's IT community, highlighting service and project news from UIS.

Sign up >  |  Back issues

RSS Feed Latest news

Delays in email delivery between PPSW and Exchange Online tenancies

Jan 22, 2020

Several institutions reported to us that messages to their Exchange Online tenancies were being blocked following routine maintenance to the central email switch (PPSW) on Monday 20 January. We believe we've discovered the cause and implemented a workaround that has cleared the backlog and will prevent this from happening again.

Phone system maintenance on Saturday 1 February

Jan 16, 2020

We're planning to update the University phone system on Saturday 1 February. Desk phones may reboot several times during this process, but there should be no effect on calls.

View all news