Computer Systems, Service and Repairs

Create Strong Passwords

Create strong passwords

Passwords are the first line of defense against break-ins to your online accounts and computer, tablet, or phone. Poorly chosen passwords can render your information vulnerable to criminals, so it’s important to make your passwords strong.

To help you create strong passwords, follow the same network security guidelines required of all Microsoft employees:

  • Strong passwords are phrases (or sentences) at least eight characters long—longer is better—that include at least three of the following: uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, punctuation marks, and symbols.
  • Give passwords the thought they deserve, and make them memorable. One way is to base them on the title of a favorite song or book, or a familiar slogan or other phrase. (Don’t use the examples below!)Example phrases: I love my new Xbox One

    Example passwords: Ilove!mynewxbox1

  • Don’t share passwords with others or store them on the device they’re designed to protect. (Get more tips for protecting your password.)

Once you’ve come up with your password, you can test its strength below.

Avoid common password pitfalls

Cybercriminals use sophisticated tools to rapidly crack passwords, but you can help foil their attempts.

  • Personal identity information that could be guessed or easily discovered, like pet names, nicknames, birth date, address, or driver’s license number.
  • Dictionary words in any language (including the word password—the most common password in the English language!).
  • Words spelled backwards, abbreviations, and common misspellings (accommodate, remember).
  • Common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing “o” to “0” or “i” to “1” or “!”.
  • Sequences or repeated characters. Examples: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent letters on your keyboard (such as qwerty).