A strong password is your first line of defence against would be attackers. Don't make it easy for them, follow these steps to creating passwords to help keep you safe online.

Your most important accounts are your email and online banking. With access to your email account, a hacker can take control of all your online accounts, by asking for the password to be reset and then changing this to one of their choosing.  Other information contained within your email account can easily be pieced together to create a profile of your identity (e.g. details of family, work, vehicle).

The Do's and Don'ts of making a strong but memorable password:

1) Never use any word which is related to you and may be easy to guess, for example by looking at your social media pages. Absolutely never use:

  • Pet's name
  • Other family members' name
  • Favourite holiday
  • Current partner's name
  • Child's name
  • Place of birth
  • Something related to your favourite sports team
  • Date of Birth

2) One method is to simply choose three random words. Numbers and symbols can still be used, however, using three random words can be the key to creating a strong password.

3) A method to memorising a good password is to imagine a familiar scene and place each item that needs to be remembered in a particular location i.e. red rose on the table, book on chair, poster on wall. Imagine yourself looking around the room in a specific sequence. Re-imagine the scene and the location of each item when you need to remember it.

4) Another memory trick is the story method. Try to remember a sequence of key words by creating a story and including memorable details e.g. 'The little girl wore a bright yellow hat as she walked down the narrow street." This could easily be turned into the password: Tlgw4byh4swdtns. By remembering that simple sentence you can create an almost impenetrable password.