• Password Security

Some passwords are stronger than others. The difference can be crucial to protecting your security on the Internet.

Texas A&M University’s Research Foundation reports that a standard six character, single-case password has 308 million possible combinations. That may sound safe enough, but it would only take 5-10 minutes for any password cracker to go through those combinations to reveal your password.

Changing your password to 8 characters, substituting a number and special characters you bump up the complexity to around 6,000 trillion combinations.

That’s a significant increase, and it’s only the beginning.

Making a Secure Password You Can Remember

Let’s take a simple sentence: "I currently work at Suffolk University."

If you take the first letter of each word you get icwasu.

Now change the case, alternating between upper and lower case characters: iCwAsU.

That’s a start, but it’s still not good enough. Replace some of the letters with numbers. We can change our password to: 1CwAs2.

We’ve  replaced the i with 1, which is visually similar, and the U with its numerical rhyme, 2. It’s still easy to remember. 

Your simple phrase, "I currently work at Suffolk University," hasn’t changed—just how you represent it.

In just a few minutes you can take a simple phrase and turn it into a password that will take days or weeks for a password cracker to figure out!

For extra security, you can add some padding: extra numbers or letters that will increase your level of security.

In this example, we could start with a simple greeting, like Hi.

"Hi. I currently work at Suffolk University" becomes H11CwAs2… a very strong password you’ll be able to remember.

Things To Remember

  • Don’t write down your passwords. Never. Not for any reason.
  • Don’t choose passwords based on simple words, words from a dictionary, or words based on personal information.
  • Choose a password at least 6 characters long, preferably 8 characters or more.
  • Select a phrase or sentence you can easily remember and convert it using the method used in this demonstration.
  • Do not let anyone use your password for any reason.
  • No one from Suffolk University will ask for your User Login ID or your password. Do not give them out.
  • If your friend or coworker can guess your password, other people can.