Password Security

Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are needed to protect your GVSU and personal data. Our goal is to help you find ways to establish strong passwords and remove the ‘painful’ thoughts that most have when they are asked to remember one or more complex passwords.  Check out our Password Creation Do’s and Don'ts

Passwords and Passphrases


A passphrase is a sequence of words or other text used to control access to a computer system, program, or data. A passphrase is used just like a password but is generally longer for added security. When selecting a passphrase, avoid hobbies or information that may be publicly known on social media.  A passphrase can be a group of random words, such as: "materialstoryproposemark".  Adding uppercase, numbers or special characters adds to the complexity.

A passphrase can be created by picking a topic, event, or interest that is not known by others such as Smcsmpnz75.  This passphrase is based on favorite wines along with a significant year. By taking the first letter of each wine: Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel along with the best aged year of a wine, you have creating a passphrase that is easy to remember and fun at the same time!

You can also use a mix of random words, nonsense words, and special characters like: shimbofried$r!ce .

Password Manager Software

If you are still having problems remembering multiple passwords, try a password manager. A password manager stores your passwords for various accounts, websites, and applications. You only need to remember one master password to retrieve the saved passwords for all of your accounts.

Your GVSU Information Technology team has listed a few trusted sources that review password manager tools.  When reviewing these options, please select a tool that fits your needs and allows you to manage your own accounts independently as these suggestions are for personal use and not supported/mandated by GVSU.



TechRadar - best free password managers