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Seven Tips For Creating Stronger Passwords

July 08, 2024

You’re in the process of registering a new online account to make a purchase and have come to the point where it is asking you to provide a password for your newly created account. Passwords are your first line of defense against hackers which makes your next step, creating the new password, crucial to keeping your information safe.

When considering creating a password, here are seven tips you should follow to create a stronger password.

  1. Never use personal information. The antivirus company, Norton, states that very strong passwords shouldn’t include references to personal info like names (pets or otherwise), birthdays, anniversaries, addresses and phone numbers. Additionally, they suggest avoiding simple, standalone dictionary words.
  2. The longer the password, the better. It stands to reason that a longer password is harder to hack than a shorter one, right? The antivirus company, Kaspersky, suggests the minimum length of your password should be 10-12 characters.
  3. Create a passphrase instead of a password. Passphrases are a series of words that are chained together. According to Avast.com, password cracking software can more easily crack related words and suggest passphrases that use random words. For example, “BettyWasSmokingTiresAndPlayingTheTunaFish.”
  4. Never repeat passwords. Using the same passwords for different websites leaves you vulnerable to “credential stuffing” attacks. Norton recommends a different password for every website.
  5. Choose a hard-to-guess security question. Make sure the answers to your security questions are as hard to guess as your password!
  6. Use extra security measures. Use features like the Google Authenticator app or other Multi Factor Authenticator tools. It may mean an extra step every time you log in, but these measures will leave your accounts less vulnerable to hacking.
  7. Change passwords regularly. Every 60 to 90 days, you should change your passwords. However, do not write down your passwords! Instead, consider downloading password manager software.

Now that you’re armed with useful tips to create strong passwords, we should also mention that you should never tell your passwords to anyone. And if you think your password has been hacked or compromised, change it immediately!

By following these tips, you decrease your chances of exposing your personal financial and personal data to would-be fraudsters.

This article may reference and link to third party information that has been verified to the best of our abilities. There is no guarantee of accuracy. Heartland Bank does not endorse companies, services, or products referenced in its articles and is not responsible for the content, links, privacy, or security policies of these third parties. Information in the above article may include material from Norton’s U.S. website (https://us.norton.com/blog/privacy/password-security), Kaspersky (https://usa.kaspersky.com/reso... and https://us.norton.com/blog/emerging-threats/credential-stuffing), Avast (https://www.avast.com/c-strong-password-ideas), and Consumer Reports (https://www.consumerreports.org/electronics/digital-security/tips-for-better-passwords-a3656305306/).

This content is for informational purposes only. Readers should under no circumstances rely upon this information as a substitute for their own research or for obtaining specific advice from their own counsel.