Trailblazer News

Tips for Stronger Password Security

Posted on January 9, 2014

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.

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