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Strong Passwords

The cornerstone of protecting yourself online is to use unique, strong passwords. It is really important that when you have a strong password, you do not use it on more than one site. Choosing a strong password will keep your data safer and make you less vulnerable to cyber-threats. That means that you can keep your emails, bank details and the pictures of your family safe.
Moreover, you avoid compromising the privacy of the University’s students and staff. If your University account gets compromised, other users, University data and our reputation are at risk.
Generally, a password that has more than 10 characters and includes a combination of upper or lower case characters, numbers or special characters is considered secure.

How to create a memorable password

It is fairly easy to create a lengthy and complex password. However, it might be too difficult for you remember it. In a world full of passwords for each website, pin numbers and usernames, we tend to choose weak passwords such as “password” or a relative’s name so we can remember them. The fact of the matter is that if your password contains a word that is in a dictionary then the hackers will crack it in seconds. The following example, provided by the Metropolitan Police Service, will help you create a strong and memorable password (please do not use this example for your password):

  1. Choose three random words that you can remember and a date that’s easy to recall. For this example, we are going to use the words “Book”, “Specs”, “Light” and the number “2001”. Then put the words together – “bookspecslight2001”
  2. Maybe put the “20” at the front, the “01” at the end, and capitalise a letter from each word. For instance, the last one – “20booKspecSlighT01”
  3. Then maybe replace some letters with a special character like an ampersand or a number - “20b00kspecSl&ghT01”
  4. Try something similar to this and make it work for you. Don’t write it down, keep it in mind

Note that a few symbols might not work on some University resources. We advise you avoid using the following:

  • : (colon)
  • | (pipe)
  • £ (pound sterling)
  • / (forward slash) or \ (black slash)
  • [ ] (square brackets)
  • ! (exclamation mark)
  • @ (at)
  • ' (quotation mark)

Password advice

  • Do not give away or share your password with anyone
  • If you think someone might have discovered your password, change it immediately
  • Do not reuse any of your passwords across accounts
  • IT Services will never ask you for your password
  • IT Services will never send you a link to log into a system e.g. “You have important messages” or “We are upgrading our system and you need to log in”
  • If you need password advice or you are concerned about the privacy of your account, please get in touch with the IT Service Desk

Useful links

Quick answers

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Contact the IT Service Desk

Log a call using IT Self-Service
(01334 46) 3333
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(Mon - Fri, 09:00 - 17:00)

Level 2
University Library
North Street
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9TR

Opening Hours
Mon - Fri
: 08:30-18:00
(front desk support
from 09:00)

Sat: 10:00-17:00
Sun: 11:00-18:00

The IT Service Desk is closed
for staff training on Fridays
between 09:30 and 10:30