The passwords you use online are intended to protect your personal data, so it’s important to choose ones that are difficult for other people to guess. However, they also need to be easy for you to remember, preferably without having to write them down.
Follow these pointers on how to create secure passwords
- Don’t use anything that’s easy for someone else to find out. For instance, you shouldn’t use any part of your name, address or birth date or those of close family members, or your pet’s name.
- Don’t use common words. One of the most common passwords is the word ‘password’ and it’s one that any criminal will try first.
- Try thinking of a short sentence or phrase and use the first letter of each word. You could use a line of, say, a poem or song – for example, ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ becomes ‘iwlaac’. You could write down ‘daffodils’ as a reminder for this. Similarly, a short phrase could be ‘My teacher’s name was Miss Clarke’. The password would be ‘mtnwmc’ and ‘teacher’ could be your reminder.
- Many websites require you to use capital letters and numbers in your password as these make them more secure. A good way to incorporate numbers is to substitute numbers for letters that look similar – for instance:
- ’1′ for ‘i’
- ’0′ (zero) for ‘o’
- ’5′ for ‘s’
- ’3′ for ‘e’.
- It also helps to use characters such as ‘&’ or ‘+’.
We recommend Wales Digital Communities guide on 'Choose a good password'.
Fiona Syrett is a Digital Unite tutor.