Tips for choosing a secure password

A password (also called a 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 lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters like punctuation marks and symbols.
  • Avoid whole words that can be found in a dictionary.
  • Stay away from an obvious keyboard sequence (e.g., qwerty, 12345).
  • Do not include “guessable” data such as your name, the names of your spouse, pets, or your children; birthdays, addresses, phone numbers, etc.
  • Use a random password generator site or app.

Try a passphrase
A passphrase is even more secure than a password. Try creating a phrase using 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.
  • Keep passwords out of sight. Do not write them down or leave them unsecured.
  • Think carefully about checking the “save password” box when signing in to online accounts or applications.
  • Use unique passwords for different systems and/or accounts.
  • Never send your passwords via email or provide a them over the phone.

Visit NewsWorks’ Security section for more ways to secure your data and stay safe online.

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