Secret & Strong Passwords

Create Strong Passwords

Hackers are getting smarter. It is now more important than ever that your passwords be long, complex, unique and strong to protect your personal information and accounts.

Need USU password help?

If you forgot your USU password, need to change it, need to create your initial password, or if your password is not working for some reason, visit the Password Help page to see what steps you need to take.

Why should passwords be more complex than they used to be?

Gone are the days your password could be a simple "dog2012" or "trueaggie".  Hackers have lists of thousands of common passwords and can guess passwords faster than ever before. Strengthen your defense against cyber attacks by creating long, complex, unpredictable passwords.

How can I create an unpredictable password?

First, don't use words; use abbreviations, acronyms and symbols to create "shocking nonsense" passwords - shocking so you will remember them and nonsense so that hackers won't guess them.  Here's a nonsense password: "Iltsifmits" that is made from the shocking statement: "I love to ski in fresh manure in the spring."  Throw in a few capitalizations and character counts for connecting words and you have "Il2s2Fm23S".  What hacker would have that gibberish in his password list?  (Well, now that we published it, he might have it.  Make up your own!)

Have a hard time remembering all your usernames and passwords?

If a password is unpredictable, you should be able to use it everyplace, right?  No, if you lose it at one place, you don't want to have to change all of your logins.  If you have many unpredictable passwords, you need a secure but reliable way to be reminded of them.  "Don't write it down" is advice from the past.  Better advice is "write them all down, but keep them safe".  You could have password notes on a piece of paper that you keep with your credit cards. Or you could put the passwords in a digital password manager.

Password Tips
  • Minimum of 8 characters..

  • Use numbers, letters, capitalization, and punctuation characters..

  • Never share your passwords—USU will never ask for your password.

  • Use different passwords for every account.

  • Never store your passwords on your computer or devices—use a password manager.

  • don't use any of these 500 most common passwords.