Tips for choosing a secure password

A password (also called a passphrase, passcode or PIN) is used to prevent someone from accessing or using your personal information. Having a solid password is your first line of defense, and possibly, the most important security control you have. Here are some tips for creating a secure password:

  • Use a minimum of eight characters.
  • Create a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters (punctuation marks and symbols).
  • Do not use whole words that can be found in a dictionary.
  • Do not use an obvious keyboard sequence (e.g., qwerty, 12345).
  • Do not include “guessable” data such as personal information (e.g. yourself, your spouse, your pet, your children, birthdays, addresses, phone numbers, locations, etc.)
  • Use a random password generator site or app

Try a passphrase
An example of a sound password that is easy to remember is a passphrase. This allows you to create something you will remember, but adds the necessary complexity to be secure. Create an acronym from information familiar only to you. For instance, choose a phrase such as My son’s birthday is 12 December, 2004. Using that phrase, you might use Msbi12/Dec,4 for your password.

Secure your passwords
It doesn’t matter how carefully you choose a word if you aren’t equally diligent about keeping it protected and secure. Use these guidelines to secure your passwords:

  • Do not disclose your information to anyone.
  • Do not write them down or leave them unsecured.
  • Do not check the “save password” box when signing in to online accounts or applications.
  • Do not use the same word for different systems and/or accounts.
  • Never send your passwords via email or provide a them over the phone.

By using these tips, you should feel confident your passwords are secure.

Article provided by Local Government Federal Credit Union.
The advice provided is for information purposes only.