Protect Yourself with Stronger Passwords

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Americans lost $16.8 billion to identity theft in 2017, according to our friends at Javelin Strategy and Research. The crime of obtaining another person’s financial or personal information in order to make transactions is an intimidating reality of the twenty-first century, but it is essential that you do everything you can to protect yourself.

This protection begins with the use of strong online passwords.

You know that you shouldn’t share your passwords publicly, but are you being as smart with them as you could—and should—be?

What should you avoid with your passwords?

  • Do not use the same password for every online account. Your favorite social media account and your bank should not share the same login information.
  • Do not write your password(s) on a note that you stick to your computer. This makes it far too easy for office-mates, house guests, or passersby at a coffee shop to see your private information.
  • Avoid common words or names. They can be susceptible to dictionary attacks.
  • Avoid using children’s names or other personal information like favorite sports teams or your alma mater. In today’s “Facebook Age,” that information might be more publicly available than you think.
  • Avoid the most commonly used passwords. These include, “123456,” “Password,” “12345678,” “Qwerty,” “12345,” “123456789,” “Football,” and “letmein,” according to SplashData. They might be easy to remember, but lazy passwords are an invitation for problems.

What Makes a Strong Password?

  • Length is your friend. A brute-force attack is a go-to strategy for cracking passwords, but the longer your password is, the longer it would take for someone malicious using this style to hack it.
  • Character Variety. Using a combination of capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols can make a password stronger.
  • Remove or replace letters to make common words less common. You can remove vowels or swap out an “S” for a “$” or an “a” for an “@.”
  • Instead of a password, think about having a passphrase. Why not something along the lines of “Pizzais110%AMAZING” or “[email protected]!!”?

Online security isn’t something you can ignore. Financial institutions, ecommerce shops, and other businesses are working hard to do their part, but you are also a piece of the security equation. Your actions and your preparations, such as being thoughtful with your passwords, can make a huge difference.

 

Do you have questions about your Call Federal Credit Union online account or your financial security? Contact us today.

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