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Account workout

Start your cyber fitness journey with some core password training

October 6, 2023 — 

Cybercriminals love weak passwords! Protect yourself and the university with these best practices. 

Use a strong and unique password that is hard to guess

Is your password the name of your pet or child? Easy to remember but also easy to find. Cybercriminals look for information that is readily available on social media and other online sources for clues to guessing your password.  

Try using a passphrase instead of a password. A passphrase is a mix of random words only you would think to combine. According to, ideally, each passphrase would be at least four words and at least 15 characters long. A quick way to choose one is to look around and create a passphrase out of the first four words you see. For example, you might see a phone, tissue, lemonade and bracelet. The resulting passphrase would be entirely unique to you and almost impossible to guess!    

Don’t share your password

Not sharing your password is a fundamental cybersecurity practice. Following this principle helps protect your digital identity, keep your personal information secure and maintain control over your online presence. 

Change your password regularly

The University’s  Password Standard and Computer Accounts Usage Agreement requires everyone to change passwords and re-accept the usage agreement on an annual basis.  

Use a different password for each app and website

Use your university email address and password only for university accounts. In 2023, PayPal, Reddit, Discord, UPS Canada, Duolingo, Forever 21, and Freecycle were just a few of the popular sites that reported data breaches. Keep bad actors away from your university data by using your account information for University of Manitoba services only.  

Enable MFA in all accounts

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) pairs something you know (e.g., your password/UMNetID) with something you have (e.g., mobile phone or hardware token) to verify your identity when logging in to your account. MFA is required for all UM accounts.  

Enable MFA in your personal accounts where possible to add that extra layer of protection to your data.

This week’s challenge 

  • Take five minutes to try this interactive learning module: Eight Ways to Strengthen and Secure Your Passwords Today!! 
  • Enable multi-factor authentication on all your social media accounts.
  • Ask a question and grab a snack at one of our Cyber Month info booths! 
    • Oct. 10 – University Centre – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
    • Oct. 11 – Brodie Atrium – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 



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