Cybersecurity and Fraud Protection

How to Create a Strong Password

Passwords are your first line of defense against cybercriminals—get some tips and best practices for creating strong passwords.


Creating strong passwords is critical for protecting business and personal accounts. Experts advise using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, symbols, special characters or special themes to create a password that will be hard to crack.

 

Password Tips

Add complexity by using a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Be creative; choose a phrase or acronym of at least 10 characters that's unique to you.

  • Avoid using words that can be found in a dictionary
  • Never use your name, tax ID number, address or other personal information (for example, pet name) that can be easily found online
  • Incorporating a “space” can make your password stronger
  • Use separate passwords for systems, user accounts and documents
  • Change your passwords three to four times a year

What to Avoid

  • Do not disclose your passwords online or give them to anyone
  • Do not store your passwords where they can be seen/found by others (for example, on a Post-It® note stuck to your computer)
  • Do not click the “Remember My Password” option on websites or save as part of your chain connecting your iPhone, laptop and/or other electronic devices
  • Do not use the same password for multiple accounts
  • Do not create passwords containing personal information that may be found on social media, networking sites or other websites

DID YOU KNOW?

Hackers use dictionaries of various languages, names and linguistic patterns to identify password roots. Their strategies can break two-thirds of all passwords existing today.

Best Practices

The longer and more complex the password/phrase the less likely criminals will be able to crack to the code quickly.

  • Avoid simple passwords
  • Use a phrase or acronym instead of a word
  • Pick a phrase you will remember, such as, "Three little piggies went to market"
  • Combine letters, special characters and acronyms or abbreviations
  • Create a password “root” and use it across all accounts—using variations on a basic password “theme” can make it easier to remember
  • Create a different “theme” for each of your online accounts, e.g. business, personal, services, etc.; for example:
    • For e-commerce sites: 1LUV2_by_SHZ
    • For online banking: 1LUV2_uz_$$
    • For a car service: 1LUV2_uz_LIMOS
  • Consider a password management tool—that way there’s only one master password to memorize; the tool can automatically create complex passwords (make sure to choose a tool with state-of-the-art-encryption)
Password Time to Crack
Kitty Instantly
123Kitty Instantly
@Kitten123 < 1 minute
3LittlePiggiesWENT2Mark3t_ > 100 years
2BorNot2B_ThatIsThe? > 100 years
4Score&7yrsAgo > 100 years
Happy_Birthday_2_me > 100 years
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