Password Security

Password security has become an important question as more and more of us use online accounts and mobile accounts to access financial information. There are some simple things each of us can do to help protect ourselves online with one of the biggest being the use of “strong” passwords. The keys to a password’s strength are length and complexity. An ideal password has letters, punctuation, symbols and numbers and you should try to use as many of these as the website’s requirements allow. Passwords should be changed frequently, or at least every 90-days. Do not share your login information with any other individual and avoid using the automatic login features that save your username and password. Following are some other tips:

  • Use different passwords for different services. Using the same password for multiple service increases the likelihood of it being compromised.
  • Avoid creating a password using any personal, financial or identifying information including your birthday, driver’s license number, passport number, account number or social security number.
  • Do add complexity to your passwords by mixing upper and lower case letters.
  • Use long passwords. The longer a password is the more difficult it is to crack.
  • Do add numbers or symbols to your password when possible.
  • Avoid using a dictionary word or even a word spelled backwards.
  • Avoid using sequences or repeated characters or adjacent letters on your keyboard such as 1234567 or qwerty.
  • Do make your password more difficult to guess by making it more random. For example:
    • Take a sentence and use the first letter of each word adding upper and lower case letters such as DmYpMdTgBmImR!
    • Adding symbols to the end adds to the complexity