Alert Africa | Create strong and unique passwords

Create strong and unique passwords



 Cyber Security Tip #7 – Create strong and unique passwords

Enable passwords on all your devices: laptops, mobile phones and tablets.

Quick Tips

 Quick Tips 

Enable passwords on all your devices laptops, cell phones and tablets.

Ensure passwords are longer than 7 characters

Use a combination of numbers and special characters (e.g. @ # $ % ! ?)

Use different passwords for all your different accounts and devices

Do not share your password with anyone Never write your password down

Getting Hands On


 Avoid weak passwords 

Do not use passwords similar to the following:





Do not use dictionary words i.e. single words out of a dictionary.

Do not include personal references in your password (date of birth, pet names.)


 Manually creating a strong password (Compressed Links) 

Minimum length of 7 characters Use spaces and/or a combinations of…

Upper case and lower case letters Numbers Special characters (e.g. @ # $ % ! ? . -) Example : “ r4XSVY_/ ” *Do not use this example

Use a passphrase and add special characters and numbers to it Example: Take the phrase “Online banking saves me so much time and effort every day” and then use numbers and letters to recreate it: Password “Obsmsmt&eed!2014” The password was created by taking the first letter of each word. *Do not use this example

 Remembering PIN’s 

Spell a word using the keyboard/keypad Example: Risky -> 74759 *Do not use this example

Useful Applications.


The following applications can be used to automatically generate secure passwords for each service that you use. The applications typically require that you set one master password that must be entered to unlock the “vault” storing all the other passwords. Ensure you set a strong master password according to the guidelines provided in the previous section.

1Password: (Windows, Apple, Android)

F-Secure Key: (Windows, Apple, Android)

Password Manager: (Windows)

 Freely Available  

Identity Safe: (Windows, Apple, Android)

Last Pass: (Windows, Apple, Android)

KeePass: (Windows, Apple, Android)

Why Should I Care?

Using a weak password may result in the following:

 Personal Impact  

Your identity can be stolen.

Your personal information can be stolen.

Your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter etc) can be compromised.

You may suffer reputational damage should hackers post unsavoury content to hacked accounts.

Your bank accounts could be compromised and money stolen.

Criminals may gain access to all information in your email accounts.

They may also attempt to illicit further information or money from your contacts.