Tips for a Secure Password

Protect Your ID

All user IDs (accounts) on a computer need to have a password, since otherwise the device is easily attackable via the network. This is also the case for user IDs, which are used to authenticate for many services.

The chosen passwords should fulfill a set of minimum requirements of complexity, so that people cannot guess your password by trial and error (with the use of software as well). Here is some advice on how to ensure that your password is safe but still easy to memorize. You should change your password from time to time. Even more if it is used a lot.

How Can I Change My Password?

Please log into the Selfcare-Portal with your university ID.

Please always check, if you are connected to the correct server “” and if you communicate via a secured https-connection before entering your password. If you see a certificate warning in your browser, please abort the process and report the incident to our hotline.

Click the first point “Change password/Passwort ändern”. This leads you to the change password-page. Enter your new password and save the changes.

Note: If you have changed your password, you need to change the password on all devices and for all services. You can find advice on this topic under Changing Your Password.

Rules for a Secure Password

  • The password has to have at least 8 characters.
  • The following characters are allowed: Lower case letters (a-z), upper case letters (A-Z), numerals (0-9) and the characters () [] {} ?! $ % & / = * + ~ , . ; : < > - _
  • You need to use two different types of characters and if your password has less than 12 characters, even 3 different types of characters. 

Generate a password  You can use a password generator to have it create a secure password for you. For this you can for example use the ZIM’s password generator.

ZIM password cards
You can get your own personal password card. From this you can read a password that is generated with an encryption process that is only known by you.

How Do I Remember My Password?

  • Form a password by using acronyms. For this you can choose a line from a song or poem and use the first letters from each word and any kind of punctuation. Maybe switch a few letters out for special characters:
  • “Fair is foul, and foul is fair: Hover through the fog and filthy air.” Becomes “Fif,afif:Httfafa.”
  • “Open between 8am and 10pm, break from 12 to 2” becomes “Ob8ama10pm,bf12t2”
  • Form a password by using two words that get mixed up and connected by special characters and numbers.
  • “Dusk until Dawn” becomes “Dus-D4vv”
  • “Mister A and Miss B” becomes “Mi:A+Ms!8”

Advice on How to Handle Your Passwords

  • Use services that are accessed via a secured connection.
  • Do not let anyone else use your password, not even system administrators.
  • Do not write down your password.
  • Do not stick your written down password on your monitor or put it under your keyboard.
  • Make sure nobody watches you entering your password.
  • Do not save your password on your computer.
  • Do not send your password via e-mail.
  • Change your password regularly.
  • Change your password when your PC had a virus or you were warned about a security breach, by the ZIM.
  • Do not save your password in cloud services from external providers.