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Tips for creating a secure password

Create a unique, strong password for your UvAnetID. By unique we mean that you will only use this password for your UvAnetID and for no other account. Strong means that the password cannot be easily guessed.

Your password must meet the following security requirements:

  • Minimum of 12 characters (preferably 16 characters or more)
  • You may not reuse your last 10 passwords
  • At least 1 number, 1 upper case letter, 1 lower case letter, 1 special symbol
  • The password may not look like your name, e-mail address or UvA-net ID
  • You must change your password every year. You will receive reminders in time every year.

Why these requirements?

With a strong and unique password, you reduce the risk that criminals can capture your password. Stealing passwords is a common method of launching a hacking attack. criminals use computers with a lot of computing power and can try thousands, if not millions of passwords on an account in no time. Or they may use a few weak passwords (think: Spring2021! or Amsterdam2021!) to log into a large number of accounts. Once inside, the criminals can impersonate you, disrupt processes, encrypt systems, or move information away, just to name a few. The more complex and longer your password, the less likely it is that criminals will be able to obtain it.

When should you change it?

Even within the UvA it is possible that a password may end up in the hands of unauthorized persons. Therefore, as a precautionary measure, you should change your password every year. It may also be necessary to change your password in between. For example, if there are clear indications that your password has been captured by criminals. It may be that you discover this yourself, or you are informed by the Service Desk ICT Services.

How do you change your password?

Go to and follow the instructions. It's a very precise procedure, so follow the steps carefully.

Extra tips

Want to make sure you have a secure password? Then follow these extra tips:

  • Come up with a – for you logical, but for others random – passphrase, or a combination of several unrelated words. How about: Love*Breakfast*With*2*Croissants or Okapi/Risotto/SanDiego/42.
  • Use a different password for each account. This will prevent that if criminals find out one password, they can get access to all your other accounts.
  • Never share your password(s) with others.

Note that the passwords mentioned are examples. Do not take them literally. Use these tips to create your own strong password.

Having trouble remembering your passwords?

A password manager can help you keep all your passwords safe, without having to remember them yourself. A password manager is a digital safe in which you store all your passwords and for which you only need to remember one strong master password. Password managers are available as programs, apps for your tablet or smartphone, and web applications. A few good examples are 1password, bitwarden, dashlane and keepass.