5 tips for creating a strong password

Category: Personal Finances

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It’s more critical than ever to select a good password for your financial accounts, email, Wi-Fi network, and anything else that entails a secured login. Many people depend on the web for many important daily tasks, like paying bills, taking care of business matters, and so much more. With a lot at risk these days and with a growing number of security breaches, it’s crucial to create a strong password. The following tips can help:

Think passphrase, not password

A mix of special characters and numbers is a good start for a safe password, but isn’t ideal on its own. Password cracking methods have progressed significantly in recent years. Instead of sticking to a singular word, pick a phrase that uses a few distinct and random words, while also keeping safe password principles in mind.

Make it easy for you to remember

You’ll need a password that’s impossible for others to figure out—but you also need to remember it. Since you want to avoid writing down a password, make one that you won’t completely forget, and use a mnemonic device that makes it easy for you (and only you) to remember.

Avoid personal references

Even when including numbers and/or special characters, you shouldn’t use phrases or words that other people can guess if they know you or if they look you up online. This includes any type of personal reference, such as your hometown, name, part of your phone number, spouse’s name, favorite song, and so on.

Avoid frequently used words and phrases

Not only should you stay away from phrases that are personally associated with you, but don’t use phrases or words that are frequently used for passwords in general. Internet searches will turn up a lot of different lists that claim what’s considered to be commonly used passwords—some of these include love, password, iloveyou, and qwerty. So how can you know for sure what you should avoid using? Your safest bet is to just pick the quirkiest and most random words—even if it means making words up, so long as you can remember them.

Create multiple passwords

It may be more convenient to use the same password for everything, but even small deviations in your passwords can make it much harder for a hacker to take over all of your accounts. If your password is the same and a hacker just cracks one of your accounts, he or she will then have access to everything else. Protect yourself by keeping all of your passwords slightly different.

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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, legal, or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

Tags: banking, financial loss, identity theft, passwords, paying bills

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