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How to Choose a Good Password

How to Choose a Good Password

Andreas Krebs | SmallBizLink

November 05, 2009

Throughout your day, you will use numerous computers, PDAs, online accounts and other electronic devices that all require passwords to protect your information. Choosing a complex password is important, but it needs to be memorable enough that you don’t need to write it out on the back of your hand with a Sharpie pen.

Here are some standard guidelines for choosing effective passwords to protect your accounts:

Don’t choose a password that can be found in a dictionary (English or foreign) or a commonly used slang word.

Don’t select a password that includes any of the following information:

1. names of family, pets, friends, co-workers, fantasy characters, etc.
2. names of software, hardware, IT companies, etc.
3. any derivation of your company’s name or location
4.birthdays and other personal information such as addresses and phone numbers
5. word or number patterns like “aaabbb”, “qwerty”, “zyxwvuts”, “123321”, etc.
6. any of the above password options spelled backward
7.any of the above password options preceded or followed by a digit (e.g.”1aaabbb” or “qwerty1”)


Select a password that contains the following:

1.upper and lower case characters (e.g., a-z, A-Z)
2. numbers, letters, punctuation and other characters (e.g., 0-9,!@#$ %^&*()_+|~-=\`{}[]:”;’<>?,./)
3. at least nine alphanumeric characters

Select a password that you can remember.

  • Create a password based on a song title, affirmation, or other meaningful phrase. For example, the phrase might be “This May Be One Way to Remember” and your password could be “TmB1w2R!” or “Tmb1W>r~”.

Safeguard your password.

Once you have created your secure password, use the following guidelines to keep it protected.

1 Never record your password and near your desk or computer.
2 Never tell anyone your password.
3 Don’t use the same password for multiple systems and accounts.
4 Don’t reuse a password, even if it is for a different account.
5Change your password often—every 90 days is recommended best practice.
6 Don’t make your password so complex that you can’t remember it—some systems may lock you out permanently if you can’t remember your password.

Talk to IT security experts for more help.

Ultimately, choosing a complex password may seem like a hassle, but it will ensure that your accounts are protected. To learn more about creating and using passwords to safeguard your accounts please contact the security experts at All Covered at 866-446-1133.