Creating Secure Passphrases and Passwords

"Passphrases" are much more secure than "passwords" since they contain more characters. With the speed of computers increasing, it's getting easier for hackers to crack poor and short passwords. The best passphrases are longer and more complex. It's not difficult to create a strong passphrase that's easy to remember and hopefully the following information will help.

Required Length / Criteria

Passphrases require a minium of 10 characters with a combination of at least three of the following four criteria. We recommend that all four criteria be used for additional security.

  • Upper case letter
  • Lower case letter
  • Number
  • Symbol

What to Avoid

  • Upper case as first letter of passphrase
  • Number as last character of passphrase

What to Include

  • Length
  • Complexity
  • Character substitution

For character substitution, use a combination of letters and symbols that look similar and don't forget that you can press the shift key to get something different.

Examples of character substitutions:

  • s=S=$
  • l=L=1=!
  • e=E=3=#
  • o=O=0=)

Examples of Strong Passphrases

NOTE: Please do not use these passphrases - they are only examples of how to create strong passphrases.

Bio at UCSB is great

  • gr8=B!0@uc$b
  • 12 characters
  • Includes upper and lower case, numbers and symbols

I hate passwords

  • @$%Pa$$w0rd$@$%
  • 15 characters
  • Includes upper and lower case, numbers and symbol

I love chocolate

  • i<3ch0c0L8mmm
  • 13 characters
  • Includes upper and lower case, numbers and symbols

Lost / Forgotten Passphrase

If you need your passphrase reset, all you have to do is one of the following:

  1. Submit web request.
  2. Send email to
  3. Contact the LSCG Help Desk at 805-893-2405.
  4. Stop by the LSCG Help Desk in LSB 2304.

Changing Your Passphrases

Please visit our Tutorial pages for detailed instructions on how to change your passphrases and different systems.