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5 Tips to Create Stronger Passwords

According to a SecureAuth Corp. study, 81 percent of people surveyed use the same password for more than one account. Chances are, that password is not as strong as it could be. Weak passwords are one of the top ways personal information is hacked, from individual cases of identity theft to massive data breaches. Do you have strong passwords that are different for each account? Here are some tips to strengthen your login and protect data.

  1. Consider the Length

In short, your passwords should be long. For instance, Google requires passwords to be at least 8 characters. Oftentimes, people choose a basic password they can commit to memory. Some common “guessable” passwords include keyboard combinations like “qwerty” and “lkjhg,” and number strings: 12345, 123456, 111111. Avoid a password hack by including letters, symbols and numbers in each, keeping the length at least 8 characters.

  1. Avoid Personal Information

Another common mistake is including initials, birthdays and names in your passwords. In today’s age of technology, hackers can easily find this information. Although this combination of letters and numbers would be easy for you to remember, it would also be easy for a hacker to crack your code. Rather than personal data, experts recommend taking a phrase that’s easy for you to remember and turning it into a password. For instance, “I love my husband” could be: I<3-my_hubby.

  1. Use Two-Factor Authentication

A great tactic to stop someone from breaking into your accounts, two-factor authentication requires you to prove your identity twice. So, if a hacker is clever enough to figure out your password, they will have another roadblock to contend with. Fingerprint authentication or face recognition is a common second step that would be extremely difficult to replicate.

  1. Be Careful with Security Questions

You may have created an unbreakable password, but what happens when a hacker submits a “forgot password” request? If you have selected basic security questions with all correct answers, you could be in trouble. For example, “what’s your mother’s maiden name?” Since this information is likely accessible on the internet, experts recommend random answers for these questions. Would a hacker anticipate your mother’s maiden name was “eggplant”?

  1. Keep Your Password Private

No matter your relationship, passwords should never be shared with anyone. Your friend, spouse or child may inadvertently expose your password to someone else. You also should avoid writing your passwords down. Come up with a clue that will jog your memory if you forget, but sheets of paper or password booklets can easily be misplaced.

At Ion Bank, we care about your online protection. For more tips, visit our eFraud library!

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