How to Create a Strong Password - dummies

By Dan Gookin

Embrace the password! Don’t try to avoid it. Instead, concentrate on creating and using a slew of good, strong passwords. Here are the three requirements your password must meet to make it nice and strong:

  • The password has to be at least eight characters long, and preferably longer.

  • The password must contain a combination of both letters and numbers.

  • The password must contain at least one uppercase letter and one lowercase letter.

Additionally, you should use a separate password for each account you have: Windows, Internet, e-mail, web pages, and so on. Using the same password for everything means that if you slip up, or you have to release that password, you need to change all your accounts.

It’s recommended that you change passwords at least once every three months.

To assist you in creating a strong password, this website, provided by Microsoft, helps you check whether any given password is strong.

One strong password trick is to create your password by using two common words separated by numbers, or perhaps two common numbers separated by a word. Capitalize one of the letters, and you should be set with a good, strong password.

  • Some passwords can contain characters other than letters and numbers. For example, the Windows logon password can contain just about any symbol you can type on the keyboard.

  • You may want to write down the password somewhere near your computer perhaps in a place with another type of writing, such as a recipe folder or an address book. A password innocuously stuck in the middle of your favorite recipe is obvious to you but not to anyone else.