A strong password is the first line of defense for protecting your personal data online. Passwords are necessary for a majority of our online activities, including filing taxes, social networking, online banking, and paying bills. Creating complex and unique passwords help to keep your information more secure.
A strong password should:
Passwords should NOT:
- Not be shared or written down in an open area. If you write down your password, lock it up in a secure area.
- Contain at least one capital letter (A-Z), one lowercase letter (a-z), one number (1, 2, 3…), and one special character (*!#>/%@…)
- Be changed on a regular basis — once a quarter, or as the seasons change
- Be written down
- Contain the user id, user’s name or initials, or family member names
- Contain other personal identifying information (nicknames, license plates, home address, Social Security Number, birthday)
- Be used on more than one site
- When creating a password, try something that’s easy for you to remember but hard for a hacker to guess, like a passphrase.
- A passphrase is a password composed of a string of words. You can easily turn a sentence into a complex and secure password.
- For example: Br0wnCow@teMyH0m3work!
You can also use a password manager that creates unique passwords and stores your encrypted data. That way if one site is compromised, the password cannot be used on other websites to compromise additional accounts.
Find more tips on online security on
our Security Center.