Passwords are often described as the key to protecting our information. This is true, but we’re rarely given simple ways to securely manage them. Fortunately, there are ways to simplify passwords to protect our digital identities.


The days of complex passwords with character substitutions and symbols are over. They’re hard to remember and type, and easy for attackers to break. The solution is passphrases: longer passwords that use random words or make a sentence, including symbols if required.

  • My2015CamryisGreen!
  • Eagle-Crow-Jay-Finch#

Password Managers

It’s critical to use a unique password for every website and account. When a breach occurs, reused passwords allow attackers to quickly compromise multiple accounts. Password managers securely store your unique passphrases and only require you to remember a single master password. They also retrieve passwords as needed, and log into websites as you visit them. Additionally, the best password managers also store answers to your secret questions, warn of password reuse, and assist with changing old and insecure passwords.

Many options are available, so research to determine which one is best for you and your family.

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication requires a secondary code or acknowledgement and your password to access an account. Even if an attacker has your password, they are unable to access your account. Enable this wherever possible, but especially for accounts containing financial or identifying information. ITS is implementing MFA in systems with confidential information, and we strongly recommend it for personal accounts.

—Peter Lundstedt, ITS