About creating a strong, memorable password

A strong password is a password that is difficult for others to determine by guessing or by using automated programs.

Note: Some sites and services on the Microsoft Passport Network might require you to have a strong password to sign in.

To be strong, a password must:

* Contain at least seven, but no more than 16, characters.
* Combine three of the four different types of characters:
o Uppercase letters (for example: A, B, C).
o Lowercase letters (for example: a, b, c).
o Numerals (for example: 1, 2, 3).
o Symbols (` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ + – = { } | [ ] \ : ” ; ‘ ? , . /).
* Not be a common word or name, or a close variation.

Some service providers require that a strong password also:

* Not be the same as any of your four previous passwords.
* Not be a minor variation of your old password. For example, if your old password was Champions=1995, a new password of Champions=1996 would not be acceptable.

Important

* Don’t write down your password.
* Never give out your password in an instant message conversation or share it with anyone else. The Microsoft Passport Network will never prompt you for your password in an e-mail.
* If you have more than one e-mail account, for instance, one for work and one for personal use, you should use a different password for each account.

http://www.vividinsight.com/projects/faqDetail.cfm?faqID=63

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