• OWLS

  • Wise words on Privacy

What does a good password look like?

Key Messages

  • If someone has your password, they can pretend to be you - so keep your passwords safe
  • Make your password difficult to guess
  • Sharing passwords with other people can lead to serious trouble - best not to go there, even if they’re people you know and like
  • Have several passwords for different things
  • Change your passwords regularly

Illustrating the topic

  • Take group photos and tag each person with a (fake) password - show that everyone is unique, and their passwords should be just as unique
  • Tell the story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (“open sesame”) - this is a springboard to the rewriting activity below

Discussion Questions

  • Why do you need passwords for things?
  • What are the different things you use passwords for at the moment?
  • What is a “strong” password and why do you need one? Example, “Sam1234”. Is this a secure password?
  • Do you have the same password for everything? What are the risks with only having one password?
  • What strategies can you use to remember passwords?
  • Can you write passwords down? If you do, where should you keep your password list?
  • Should you change your passwords? Why? When?
  • Would you share your password with someone for a chocolate fish?


  • Retell or rewrite the story of Ali Baba, where “open sesame” is a password. What “treasure” (in the form of personal information) does it give Ali Baba access to? (Not that Ali Baba can be allowed to go off and sell other people’s personal information of course - what kind of ending would the story have to have?!)
  • Get groups to invent different passwords. Test how strong they are (eg on “how secure is my password.net”). Test how practical they are - there’s no point having a password you have no hope of remembering. What would you use that password for? (some activities are more risky than others - eg a bank password should be very strong, never shared, different from all your other passwords)
  • Develop a video / role play to discuss secure passwords
  • General information about passwords: http://www.netbasics.org.nz/ Go to 'Episodes/Protect your stuff/dowloads' tab.