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5 Essential Rules for Creating Strong Passwords

4 out of 10 people have had their passwords compromised in 2019 (Google). We’ll tell you the 5 essential rules for creating strong passwords to better protect yourself online. Yesterday (4th May) was World Password Day, so what better than providing valuable information on how to create strong passwords.

Here are the five best rules for making a strong password:

1 Never ever use personal information

There are a few reasons why you should never use personal information. Firstly, your name, birthday, and other personal information is usually publicly available on social media, government websites, and other online sources. This makes it easy for hackers to guess your password if you use personal information. Secondly, if your passwords do contain personal information, it is also likely that you have reused that password, thus making it easier for hackers to access other accounts of yours. So, for ensuring a strong password, never use personal information.

2 Use letters, numbers, & symbols

A strong password should contain a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, this makes it harder for hackers to guess. This includes upper and lowercase characters. Also, the higher amount of letters, numbers, and symbols you use the more secure your password is. A brute-force attack is an attempt to guess a password by attempting every possible combination of characters. If your password is long and includes a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, it will be more resistant to brute-force attacks.

3 Make your password long

In essence, the longer the password the more difficult it is for hackers to crack it. Hackers use a range of tools to try to guess passwords, and they are more likely to give up if your password is long and complex. At Cambridge Support we recommend ideally 12 characters long (see infographic below). This is to ensure that your password is secure as it can be.

4 Never reuse passwords

Reusing your password puts you at risk from more than one account being hacked. It makes you vulnerable to credential stuffing and where criminals steal more of your personal information. How credential stuffing works is that criminals will search the dark web for stolen login credentials. Then, a list of those stolen usernames and passwords is prepared. Then, a botnet is used to scan and test the stolen passwords against multiple websites. Lastly, when they eventually gain access to a particular site, they will steal banking information and anything valuable. Therefore, you never want to reuse passwords.

5 Don’t use real words

A strong password should not contain real words, as this puts you at risk. Cyber criminals will use malicious programs that can process every word found in a dictionary to crack passwords. We suggest not using proper nouns and other standalone dictionary words as this could lead to an unsecure password.

Here’s a recap with some extra tips:


  • Use at least 12 characters
  • Use a mix of letters (lower-case & upper-case)
  • Use numbers
  • Use symbols

Do not:

  • Reuse your passwords
  • Share your passwords
  • Write your password down
  • Do not use any personal information in your password

If you have any security concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01223 921 000 or email at