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Password Protocol:
Ensuring Digital Security (#3)

This letter guides readers through the intricacies of password management, emphasizing the importance of robust strategies for digital security. From tips on crafting strong passwords, common mistakes to recommendations for reliable password management tools.



It is common sense to take steps to ensure that your research data are protected to prevent unauthorised access. A key aspect of data security is choosing suitably strong passwords. However, due to the increasing number of accounts, login details and passwords we need to manage on a day-to-day basis it can be easy to become careless and adopt bad practices when creating passwords.

Tips for strong password

Managing passwords for less frequently used services is essential. Find a method that works for you to retrieve or decipher them when needed. Here are some suggestions for creating strong passwords:

  • Opt for a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.

  • A strong password should resemble a random sequence of symbols, including non-alphabetic characters like @#$!%+-/:?_.

  • Avoid using dictionary words.

  • Memorize a few robust passwords for your most sensitive systems, preferably with 15 characters or more.

  • Consider using passphrases, composed of at least four randomly chosen words, for exceptionally strong passwords.

Common Mistakes Leading to Weak Passwords

Avoid the following mistakes when crafting passwords:

  • Using your username or any form of it as a password.

  • Incorporating easily guessable personal information such as birthdates, phone numbers, or addresses.

  • Choosing simplistic passwords like single words or all digits.

  • Using obvious digit substitutions in real words, such as 'p4ssword' or '5ecret.'

  • Opting for passwords with fewer than eight characters.

  • Employing characters from literature, films, or other public sources.

  • Selecting passwords that are either too easy or too difficult to type.


Password Managers

Managing a multitude of account logins and passwords securely can be overwhelming. Password managers streamline this process by aiding in password creation, storage, and management. Some benefits of password managers include:

  • Only needing to remember one master password.

  • Accessibility via apps or browser extensions.

  • Synchronization across devices.

  • Automated generation of secure passwords.

  • Encryption of stored passwords.

  • Identification of potentially compromised passwords.

When selecting a password manager, consider both basic and additional features. Popular options include KeyPass, Enpass, and 1Password.


KeyPass is an open-source password manager known for its security. While it lacks synchronization capabilities, its simplicity and security make it a preferred choice for many users.


Enpass offers desktop and mobile apps, with autofill capabilities for web accounts. It facilitates password strength checking and allows for easy import of existing password lists.


Similar to Enpass, 1Password offers robust security features but operates on a subscription model. Noteworthy features include a Family Plan for sharing passwords among family members.


Password managers are indispensable tools for everyone. However, there's ongoing debate regarding the safety of entrusting all credentials and secure notes to a single master password. Ensuring a strong master password is crucial for maintaining security.

Strong passwort
Common Mistakes


I hope this was an interesting read. If you have comments, remarks, or suggestions about other RDM-related topics for the next newsletters, please let me know by sending me an email at

Image designed by stories / Freepik, and XKCD (, CC BY-NC 2.5)

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