To avoid putting your accounts and online information at risk, here are some tips for making your passwords more secure:
- Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
- Use unique passwords. Do not use passwords on any common password lists, such as SplashData's annual list of worst Internet passwords.
- Use passwords with a variety of character types (for example, use passwords that contain upper and lower case letters, numbers and special, non-alphanumeric characters). The more uncommon the combination of letters, numbers and symbols used in a password, the safer it will be.
- Use passwords that are at least eight characters long. The longer the password, the stronger it will be.
- Use password generators to create random passwords.
- Do not use passwords that are based on personal information (for example, birthdays, Social Security numbers, nicknames, names of family members, etc.).
- Do not use single dictionary words for passwords. Such passwords are susceptible to dictionary attacks.
- Use pass phrases instead of passwords.
- Do not use passwords derived from strings of sequential numbers or letters (for example, 123456 or qwerty).
- Do not use standard number substitutions (for example, p455word instead of password).
- Use multifactor authentication when available. Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter all offer multiple layers of authentication.
- Change passwords periodically, especially for major accounts such as those for banking and shopping sites.
- Keep the computers and browsers you use patched, updated and malware free.
If you have any questions about these tips or need help with developing passwords, please ask a Member Service Representative.