Tips for Creating a Strong Password

Make Your Password Secure

Your Patriot Pass credentials, consisting of your assigned NetID and a Patriot Pass Password you create, allow you to access a variety of Mason online systems. You should create strong passwords that make it difficult for cybercriminals to gain access to your account.

Note: Your NetID is not the same as your G Number

Tips for making your passwords secure:

  • Length is more important than complexity. The longer your password, the harder it is for someone to crack it. Your password should be at least 10 characters long.
  • Use all the different characters you are permitted. Ideally, you should use uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters for all your passwords.
  • When creating passwords, create an anagrammed sentence with numbered substitutions and punctuation. For example: "I love my dog Buster, he is the best ever!" would be "1lMD8hiTb3!" These are much harder to crack because they are a seemingly random grouping of letters or numbers.
  • Select multiple words that form a phrase. While selecting a password, you will be given a set of allowed characters based on the systems you access. Below is a strong password idea generator to assist if needed.

Password Generator

Passwords to Avoid

The common methods used to create passwords listed below are easy to guess by hackers and criminals.

  • Do not use words than can be easily guessed
  • Do not use words found in the dictionary, including recognized names such as Mason
  • Do not include part of your NetID or name in your password
  • Your name in any form — first, middle, last, maiden, spelled backwards, nickname or initials

Do not include any of these:

  • Repeated characters, such as AAA or 555
  • Alphabetic sequences, such as abc or CBA
  • Numeric sequences, such as 123 or 321.
  • Common keyboard sequences, such as Qwerty or pas

Best Practice

  • Do not use the same password for all your important accounts. If one of your accounts were to become compromised, then the attacker would have access to all of your accounts.
  • Do not use information that is publicly known or can be found in any dictionary of any language—such as a birthday, your street address, who your favorite music artist is, popular words or phrases, etc.
  • Do not use chain-link login information. For example, do not use your Facebook credentials to log into another site. Again, this makes all your accounts vulnerable if your social media account is hacked.
  • A good way to have a secure password is to use a password safe. Password safes generate random, complex passwords for each of your accounts and stores them within the application, so you do not need to remember each one. You just need to remember your password safe login.