Strong Passwords

Using strong passwords is one of the 5 key recommendations NetSafe and the NZ Government recommend to protect yourself on-line.

  • Don’t use obvious words or sequences.  Use a mix of 15 letters, characters and symbols.  15 may be a bit long but it is easy to reach. We think you should aim for at least 12 characters.
  • To make a strong password easily, join words together with symbols like ILIKE2goRUNNING!
  • To create a strong password simply choose three random words. Numbers and symbols added make your password even more secure.
  • Use different passwords and use a password manager to make this easy.
  • Your most important accounts are your email, social media and online banking accounts, so it’s important to have strong and separate passwords for each account. With access to your email, hackers can take control of all your online accounts, by asking for the password to be reset, and use the information your email contains can easily be pieced together to create a profile of your identity.
  • Do not share your passwords, this can break the conditions set by your bank etc.
  • Change your password regularly.
  • Make sure you also protect your mobile phone with a password.

How to remember strong passwords

There are some simple memory tricks and techniques that could help you if you’re struggling to remember your strong passwords. Just don’t write them down anywhere!

  • Loci method: imagine a familiar scene and place each item that needs to be remembered in a particular location i.e. red rose on the table, book on chair, poster on wall. Imagine yourself looking around the room in a specific sequence. Re-imagine the scene and the location of each item when you need to remember it.
  • Story methods: remember a sequence of key words by creating a story and including memorable details e.g. ‘I played football with my friends in the green park beside the apple shop…’.

Use this online tool to test how strong your password is and how long it takes to crack.

Common password mistakes