Tips for choosing a secure password

A password (also called a passcode) 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 15 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.
  • Consider using a random password generator site or app for added password complexity.

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.
  • Avoid checking the “save password” box when signing in to online accounts or applications. Try a password manager to store passwords.
  • Use unique passwords for different systems and/or accounts.
  • Never send your passwords via email or provide a them over the phone.

This is just a start. LGFCU NewsWorks has more tips on securing your data and staying safe online.

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