Mac OS X 10.6: Tips for creating secure passwords

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Tips for creating secure passwords

Here are some ideas to help you create a unique, secure password:

  • Choose a password with 8 characters or more and a mix of different character types.

  • Don’t use names, words found in a dictionary, phone numbers, dates, or simple combinations of these.

  • Avoid using a pattern of keyboard characters, such as diagonal lines of keyboard keys (for example, njimko).

  • Use a sequence of random characters. Include a mix of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and (if the site or item allows it) characters typed while holding down the Option key.

  • While entering a password, use the Password Assistant to see how secure your password is. Click the Key button next to the Password field.

Here’s one way to create easy-to-remember passwords:

Start with a phrase, verse, or line from a song. Omit some letters, and transform others into numbers or punctuation marks that resemble the original character. You might want to insert additional punctuation and numbers too.

For example, the phrase "You will be welcomed" could be turned into "UW1llBvv3lc0meD;". And, of course, don't use our example password—everyone who reads this example will know it!

For information on which passwords in Mac OS X are most critical, see “About Important passwords in Mac OS X.”

Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013

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