Creating Passwords & Security Questions

Updated Sep 10, 2020


Hacking and password-cracking tools are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and the more personal information we store in online accounts the more important it is to make sure our accounts are secure. The best place to start is with a strong password. 

Password standards

Passwords should be a collection of 12 or more 

  • Uppercase letters  
  • Lowercase letters 
  • Symbols  
  • And numbers 

If your password is an ordinary word or name, a keyboard sequence, all letters, all lowercase, or fewer than 12 characters, you should change it to something stronger. Don't rely on tricky mixes of symbols, numbers, and uppercase letters alone. A mix of symbols, numbers, and uppercase letters makes a password stronger, but that alone wont make a simple password strong. For example, LetM3in isn't much better than just letmein when it comes to security.

Remember your password with a phrase

To keep it simple, stick with a word or phrase you know and remember. Add symbols or numbers in place of letters where it might make sense to you, but not to others. The key here is to stay away from commonly used words or phrases, and to stay above 12 characters. Excellent passwords are long and complex, but easy to remember. Ideally, you are not using the same password for multiple websites, so you will want to remember your passwords and keep them straight. 

Strong passwords can also be created by stringing unrelated words together in a way that's memorable to you because it’s humorous (Inevitable culinary cat freedom, correct horse battery staple, etc.). While the entire phrase is long enough to be used as an effective password, a mix of numbers and symbols adds an extra layer of security. 

Examples of strong passwords
  • 1Likethaif00d4breakfast! 
  • SoftKleenexMakesHappyN0ses! 
  • Th3y%reG00dD0gz 

Avoid making passwords from personal information such as your name, major, hometown, or birthday. Don't make your password a sequence or keyboard pattern (for example, qwertyuiop), as those could be analyzed and predicted by malicious software.

Security questions

Security questions provide a secure way to access your BYU-Idaho account should you forget your username or password. Your security question should be something that only you would remember and cannot be looked up easily. Some examples of this are the name of your first-grade teacher, the first state you visited, or the name of your favorite pet.

1. Go to go to and select the button that says Sign In.

2. Even if your username and password are saved here, you will see the option to Change Password above the blue Login button. Select Change Password.

3. Select Update Security Information from the options in the left column. It will have you sign in to your BYU-Idaho account and then automatically redirect you to the Security Information page.

4. Select the small arrow in the bar next to Secret Question and choose a security question from the drop-down menu.  

5. Type your answer into the bar labeled Secret Answer.

6. While you are here, make sure your Control Email is still accurate. Your control email is the email address you would like notifications regarding your password or secret question/answer sent to. This email must be different than your school email address.

7. When you are finished, select Submit

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