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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

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