Create strong passwords and store them securely

Your passwords are like a lock on a door – make sure they’re strong. If your accounts use simple or commonly used passwords, like abc123, criminals can get into them without difficulty. Don’t use words that are personal to you, which could be easily guessed or even worked out from social media profiles (i.e. sports teams, pets, names of family members, etc).

Never share passwords with anyone and don’t reuse the same or similar passwords across various accounts, especially important ones such as for your email, bank, phone and university logins. You can change your DMU password online and if you get stuck, the ITMS Service Desk can help.

Passwords should be at least 16 characters long with a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. 

A longer password consisting of several words together can actually be more secure and easier to remember than a more complicated, obscure one. For example, "The hills are alive with the sound of music!" is actually a pretty good password, except for the fact that that it is inconveniently long, a well-known quote and is published here. A shorter version could be: “Hills!alive!Music!” Many places (including DMU) will check the strength of your password when you create one or you can try them out with a reputable password strength checker. 

What is a password manager?

A password manager is an app on your phone, tablet or computer that stores your passwords securely, so you don't need to remember them all (only your master password for the app, which must be very strong of course). Some password managers can synchronise across your different devices, making it easier to log on wherever you are. 

Some can also randomly create complex passwords when you want a new, strong password, or you need to change existing ones.

Why would I want a password manager?

Reusing the same password across different accounts can be dangerous. A cybercriminal might steal one of your passwords and then use it to try and access other accounts. This means they could quickly break into several of your accounts despite only knowing one password. 

It's worth finding online reviews of the password managers you're considering, and deciding on the features you need, the support it provides and whether there’s a fee before choosing one that's right for you. Some of the highly reviewed and well-used password managers include Bitwarden, Bitdefender, Dashlane, 1Password and Apple’s iCloud Keychain. Avoid using your web browser to save passwords for you.



 Read more: 

Password dos and don’ts