Passphrase Best Practices

About Passphrases

Passphrases are passwords made up of at least 15 characters. They are significantly safer than previous password standards and also easier to remember. Anyone with a NetID will need to use a passphrase when creating their password.

Why are passphrases better than passwords?

  1. They're easier to remember than random symbols and letters combined.
  2. Passphrases are harder for computers to guess than passwords.
  3. All major operating systems including Windows and MacOS, allow passphrases of up to 127 characters long.
  4. Adding uppercase and/or punctuation makes your passphrase even more secure.

Get Started

  1. Log into the Online Toolkit.
  2. Click Change Password.
  3. Follow the prompts to create a passphrase.
    Learn more.

NOTE: Once you've created a new passphrase, consider these tips to make sure you're ready to log everywhere needed.


Longer passwords are harder to crack, but they can also be difficult to remember. Instead of a password, try creating an easy-to-remember passphrase; a string of words with no spaces. 

Features of a strong passphrase:

  • at least 15 characters (longer is better)
  • uppercase and lowercase letters
  • numbers and symbols
  • easy to remember

Steps to building a strong passphrase:

  1. Add words to create a phrase - ilovethebobcats
  2. Add capitals for emphasis - ILoveTheBobcats
  3. Add punctuation for a creative flair - ILoveTheBobcats!
  4. Add block capitals to go a step further - ILOVEtheBobcats!
  5. Make your passphrase even longer for added security - ILOVEtheBobcats!GoCatsGo!