Password Tutorials

Strong Passwords

Make all of your passwords as strong as feasible, long, and complex. Your passwords should be easy for you to remember, and difficult for other people to guess. More information on strong passwords is available here .

Keep Your Passwords Secure

  • Don't write your passwords down or store it on your computer.
  • Keep your passwords different from any other password, so your VIU information will still be protected even if other passwords are stolen.
  • Change your password regularly.
  • Always change your password immediately if you suspect that someone else might have guessed it.

How to Choose a Strong Password

VIU's password complexities rules help ensure that everyone's password stays safe. When you choose or change your password, it will be checked to ensure that it complies with the rules listed here.
Use at least 8 characters, including at least three of the following four character types:

  • Uppercase letters
  • Lowercase letters
  • Numbers
  • Symbols found on your keyboard, such as blank spaces, or! * - () : | / ?

Do not include:

  • Personal information, such as your student ID, names or nicknames of people, pets, or places, your address, birthday, or hobbies
  • Unchanged dictionary words, including recognized names such as "Cornell" For example: o Unsafe: hippopotamus Safer: H*P@ptmZ o Unsafe: refrigerator Safer: rFRgr8Tr. WARNING: Do not use any of the example passwords shown here.
  • Repeated characters, such as AAA or 555
  • Alphabetic sequences, such as abc or CBA
  • Numeric sequences, such as 123 or 321
  • Common keyboard sequences, such as qwerty or pas
  • Simple substitutions such as zero for the letter o.

You can use this password strength checker to make sure all your passwords are strong.
Passphrases: Making Complex Passwords Easier to Remember
Some people find creating a password that is associated with a phrase (a passphrase) easier to remember. By virtue of its length, a passphrase is stronger than a password. The drawback to using passphrases is some services do not support long passwords.

  1. Pick a phrase that is at least 4 words long. A passphrase could be:
    • A line from your favorite song
    • The punch line of a joke
    • A sports chant, or anything else!
  2. Add complexity. Create a set of rules for your passphrase, such as:
    • Capitalize the first letter of each word
    • Add punctuation
    • Truncate words—the more nonsensical, the better!
      • Change the word bloom to BM (obvious) or B^^ (less obvious)
      • Change the word spring to sPRg (obvious) or S*G! (less obvious)
    • Keep spaces or replace them with a symbol or number
    • Use letters or symbols to represent at least one word
    • Replace letters with symbols or numbers
  3. Apply the rules to all of your passphrases. For example:
    • If your passphrase is: flowers bloom in spring
      After you apply complexity, it might be: flwrrZbl*mNsprg!
    • If your passphrase is: basketball hoops have nets
      After you apply complexity, it might be: BktBhP5v.Ntz

Forgotten Password

Send the request by email or meet in person. Be sure to bring your VIU ID card with you. Your new password will be mailed back to you ASAP.