TIP: Password Safety

Passwords are used for for nearly everything – banking, email, social media, shopping sites, paying bills – the list is endless.They unlock the world at the push of button. Some estimates say the average person has about 30 accounts requiring a password, so having a good password is vital to protecting your information. It is your first line of defense against hackers and identity theft.

Here are some tips to prevent yourself from being vulnerable and keeping your accounts safe:

  • Don’t make your password “password” or other commonly used logins since they can be easily guessed. Here s HuffPost’s list of most common passwords from 2016.
  • If an account is already set up with a default password, change it immediately.
  • Avoid consecutive keyboard combinations like (e.g.: “qwerty”, “asdfg”, “12345”, or “11111”)
  • Don’t use personal information such as your name, age, birth date, pet’s name, or information that is publicly posted on social media or easily researched.
  • Make a different password for each account so that if one of account is hacked, your other accounts will not be compromised.
  • Update or change your passwords as often as possible.
  • Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols with lower case and capitalized letters.
  • Longer passwords are harder to crack so it is recommended to use at least 6 characters, but preferably 8 characters.

These may seem inconvenient, but you can write down your passwords and keep the list in a secure location that only you can access. Taking these precautions makes it harder for hackers to steal your information or even your identity. Having a strong password is a simple but powerful tool for protecting yourself.