Security Alert: Making a Strong Password

  • by Rayna Karst
  • Mar 9, 2023, 08:53 AM

One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to hack into your online accounts is by guessing your passwords. They have access to sophisticated equipment, using a variety of methods that can identify weak passwords – sometimes in just a matter of hours.

By following just a few simple guidelines, you can create complicated and powerful passwords that will protect your information: 

  • Make it as long as you can. A strong password should include 10-12 characters minimum – but it’s even better to make it longer.

  • Use a variety of characters. Make your password unpredictable by mixing it up with a variety of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers.

  • Avoid obvious sequences. Your password should be hard to guess. Stay away from common sequences like “1234” or “qwerty,” avoid obvious words like “password.”

  • Avoid reusing passwords. Juggling a unique password for every account can make it tough to keep them all straight. But reusing passwords can compromise multiple accounts if a hacker guesses it. It’s safest to make every new password original.

    TIP: To remember all your passwords, try using a secure online password manager.

  • Steer clear of apparent character substitutions. Hackers are no longer stumped by passwords with common character substitutions – like using the number zero instead of the letter “o,” or “$” instead of the letter “s.” Opt to strengthen your password with other methods instead.

  • Keep the personal details to a minimum. Using things like a birthday, pet’s name, or other personal details is typically easy to identify with just a quick search through your social media.

  • Change your passwords often. Sometimes, one of your accounts could be compromised without you knowing it. To avoid this, it’s best to change your password every few months.