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How strong is your password?

Seven tips to foil fraudsters from hacking your online accounts

March 2021 ​ 3 min read

Online activity has never been higher, and unfortunately, that means scammers have never been busier. Here’s some tips to create a complex strong password to keep your information secure. 

  1. Create a password that’s at least 12 characters and change it frequently. Make sure your phone is also passcode protected, using at least six digits.
  2. The strongest passwords are a long meaningless string of characters. This method is more secure than just incorporating numbers, capital letters or special characters in a recognizable word or creating a unique passphrase. 
  3. Don’t use anything obvious, like your birthday or your pet’s name. Today’s sophisticated hackers will use everything they can find out about you online. They can also search for dictionary words, which is why a meaningless string of characters is the safest choice.
  4. Never write your passwords down or store them in a file on your computer—use a password app on your smartphone instead. You can also use a modern up-to-date browser to remember your passwords, but make sure you secure your session first. 
  5. Create a different password for each account—that way a successful hacker will not have access to all your accounts. And this is not the time to recycle—when you change your password, choose a new one.
  6. Add two-factor identification when available to give hackers even more of a headache. Two-factor identification means you need a second piece of identification to sign in. Using a third party authentication app from Microsoft or Google is safer than a code sent by text or email.
  7. And the most important tip of all is to never share your passwords, even if someone asks nicely! 
    1. Don’t send a password by text or email 
    2. Don’t talk about one where you could be overheard 
    3. Avoid typing your password in public or on public computers 
    4. Remember your financial institution will never ask for your password or repeat aloud a code sent by text

Creating a robust complex password is an important step in safeguarding your sensitive information. 


Other topics to explore:

 Prevent phishing

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