Improve your security habits on National Pass**** Day, March 15

A simplistic vintage key rests on a wood table.

Having good passcode habits is an important aspect of online security. And it’s something we all need to work at.

The Better Business Bureau has announced the fourth annual National Pass**** Day and we think it’s a good idea.1 March 15th is a good day to reflect on your passphrase habits.2 Here are the bureau’s recommendations:

  • Use between 8 – 13 characters as many characters as you want (more is better, and sometimes easier)
  • Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols
  • Use Include song lyrics, words in another language or unusual movie titles
  • Avoid words found in the dictionary
  • Avoid using family and pet names
  • Avoid using birth dates
  • Avoid adding a number or letter to the last password you had – create something new

These are mostly good recommendations and we want to add a couple more thoughts.

  • Sketch out a model of your online empire and understand what is most valuable and at greatest risk: sketch out a threat model.
  • Use multifactor authentication for your important accounts.
  • Unique passwords are important, because even LinkedIn occasionally stores your passwords incorrectly and gets hacked.
  • Given the number of passcodes we all have, consider using a password manager.3

Also, At Pink Sheep Media we’ve been trying to stop referring to “passwords” and use “passcode” or “passphrase” instead. We’re a little hit and miss with this one frankly. But you can help us with this small linguistic habit by taking the practice up.

Let us know if you have questions!


  1. Here’s the BBB announcement.
  2. Big thanks to Keri Coles for covering this story for Black Press Media.
  3. We use Bitwarden, but there are others that are also good.