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Password security: Top tips to help keep you safe online

Your online security matters and your password is the first line of defence against cyber threats.

Here are ten top tips from our Information Services team to help keep you and the university safe online:

1. Create strong, unique passwords

Use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid easily guessable personal information, such as names, birthdates, or addresses or common words. Attackers can easily find this information through social media or public records.

2. Password length matters

Aim for a minimum of 12 characters to make it harder for attackers.

3. Avoid common passwords

Do not use common dictionary words and steer clear of using ‘password’, ‘123456’ or other easily guessable passwords.

4. Use different passwords for different accounts

Don’t use the same password across multiple sites. This way, if one gets compromised the others remain secure.

5. Change passwords regularly

Update your passwords periodically, especially after a security incident.

6. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)

Add an extra layer of security by enabling 2FA wherever possible.

7. Beware of phishing attempts

Be very cautious of emails or messages asking for your password. Legitimate organizations will never request your password via email.

8. Secure your devices

Use password protection on your devices, including smartphones and laptops.

9. Keep software updated

Ensure your operating system, antivirus, and applications are up to date for the latest security patches.

10. Regularly check account activity

Monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity and report it immediately.

Find out more

If you discover any suspicious activity, contact the IT Service Desk ( or our cybersecurity team (


Photo by FlyD on Unsplash





Robin Coleman • 18 January 2024

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