Create a Secure and Memorable Passphrase

To enhance security and enable more memorable passwords, the University of Minnesota is updating password rules beginning November 1, 2018. 


How can you make a memorable UMN password that is still secure?


Did you know it would take 16 billion times longer to crack a 16-character password compared to an 8-character password? 

16+ character passwords can actually be easier to remember. Instead of using a single word with lots of character types (uppercase, lowercase, special characters, and numerals), you can use more words with fewer character types. Think of your password as a passphrase.

For example, a secure 8-letter password includes 3 or more character types (uppercase, lowercase, special characters, and/or numerals) might look something like this: 


An even more secure passphrase includes just 2 of the character types (use uppercase and lowercase) and looks something like this: 

"Pony Hockey Spaghetti" or "I love cheese sauce" (You can include spaces if you like!)

How to Create a Secure Passphrase

Beginning November 1, to enhance security and enable more memorable passphrases, the University's password policy will require 16+ character passphrases using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters. 

To reset your password, visit the password reset page on

Choose 3 random words, a short phrase, or even a song lyric—just make sure there are 16 or more characters—and use at least one of each: uppercase and lowercase letters. You can also use special characters and numbers, but the University will only require you to use uppercase and lowercase letters.

After November 1, 2018,  if you reset your password you will be required to enroll in Duo at the Sign-In page within 7 days. After you've reset your password and enrolled in Duo Security at the UMN Sign-in page, you will no longer be required to reset your password annually! Learn more about Duo Security at Sign-in

Additional Resources