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How to choose them and keep them safe

The best password is one that's easy for you to remember - but impossible for anyone else to guess. Once you've chosen your password, make sure to change it regularly. If you've been using the same passwords for years, it's definitely time for a change.

Never share your passwords with anyone. And you should never write down your passwords - or store them on your computer.

  • Use letters from a phrase or song lyric - for example the nursery rhyme ' The Grand Old Duke of York he had ten thousand men' would give you the phrase 'TGODoYhhttm'. The mix of upper case and lower case letters helps to make the password even more secure
  • Use a mixture of characters - including upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers
  • Don't use your PIN - or reuse any other passwords
  • Don't use family names or birthdays - they are easy for attackers to guess, especially if you use your own name or birthday
  • Don't use dictionary words - attackers will often use dictionaries of commonly used passwords. So avoid passwords which contain 'real' words (such as 'hello' or 'password'), names, or words in foreign languages
  • Don't mis-spell common words - attackers are likely to try these combinations as well, especially sequences which replace letters such as 'I' with '1' or 'e' with '3'