Strong Passwords - Guidelines


Target audience: McGill faculty, students and staff.

One of the best ways to protect yourself online is to use a strong, unique password. This article provides guidance on creating strong passwords.

In this article:

The importance of a strong password

Weak passwords are easily guessed and can lead to serious consequences, such as identity theft, the loss of confidential data, and in some cases compromised systems. See below for some tips on how to create a strong, secure password.

6 tips for secure passwords

We all want to protect our information, and that often starts with a secure password. Here are a few tips to keep each of your passwords safe:

  1. Make each password long and strong.
    The more characters in your password, the stronger it is.
  2. Use multiple words to create a passphrase.
    Examples are "Don't forget to stand" or "stopping-woods-snowy-evening".
  3. Create a unique password for each account.
    Use a password manager for your personal passwords, and ask your employer if they offer a solution for work-related passwords.
  4. Keep passwords a secret.
    Never share them with anyone, including your supervisor.
  5. Never use public computers to log in to your online accounts.
  6. Use Two-Factor Authentication whenever possible.
    Set up Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on your McGill account.


Tools and resources to help you create strong passwords

To help you create a strong McGill password for your McGill Username, we have implemented additional security enhancements which detect and prohibits the use of weak passwords.

Use a password manager

Most of us have many online accounts, resulting in a large volume of passwords that we can’t easily remember. A password manager addresses this issue; it helps securely create, store, and retrieve your passwords.

For more information about password managers and selecting the right one for your personal use, consult the following resources: