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Power Up Your Password

In today's digital world, your passwords are the gatekeepers to your online identities and precious information. Weak or reused passwords are like screen doors with faulty locks, easily cracked and broken by fraudsters.

Fortunately, upping your password game is relatively easy and just requires a little planning and organization. Here are some quick tips and best practices to powering up password protection and keeping your sensitive information secure:

Building Stronger Passwords:

  • The Longer the Better: Aim for at least 12 characters or longer. This makes your password exponentially harder to crack.
  • Diversity Is Key: Combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols to create a complex and unpredictable mix.
  • Avoid the Obvious or Easily Deduced: Steer clear of personal information like birthdays, names of family members or pets, addresses– hackers love these and will skim your social media accounts to uncover potential passwords.
  • Think about Using Passphrases: Consider snippets of favorite song, quote or phrase, with some strategic substitutions, e.g., "Ch@ngeM30ft3n!". Creativity can be your shield.

Going Beyond the Basics:

  • Ena​ble Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): This adds an extra layer of security, requiring a second verification step (e.g., one-time pass code, fingerprint or other biometric information).
  • Consider Password Managers: These tools securely store and manage complex, unique passwords for all your accounts, eliminating the need to remember (and reuse!) weak ones. Remember, however, to do your research; not ​all Password Managers are created equal.

Good Password Practices:

  • Resist the Temptation to Reuse Passwords: Each of your accounts should have its own unique password.  If you use the same password for everything, when one of you accounts or services is compromised, they all are.
  • Update Regularly: Change your passwords periodically, especially after suspicious activity or data breaches. While there is no set time to change your password, experts recommend every 3 or 4 months.
  • Avoid Public Wi-Fi When Accessing Sensitive Accounts: Public networks often lack strong security, making them risky for logging into important accounts.
  • Beware Fraudulent Calls, Texts or Emails that Ask for Your Password (and other sensitive data): Never share your passwords via email, text, or phone calls. Legitimate businesses and organizations don't ask for passwords—or other personal info in this way. 

Remember: Strong passwords help provide the foundation of your online security. By following these tips and adopting good password hygiene, you can significantly reduce the risk of hackers getting access to personal information and valuable data.

For even more fraud prevention tips and cyber security best practices, visit​.