Cyber criminals work around the clock. They know we're busy. They know we tend to use the same username and password to access multiple online accounts. We know from recent news articles that a multitude of high profile data breaches over the years, and around the world, have resulted in a vast collection of usernames and passwords being made available for use by bad actors.
To stay one step ahead, it’s important to take precautionary measures to safeguard your access to all the convenient online services you use daily. At a minimum, you should have unique usernames and unique, complex passwords for important accounts, such as banking and financial services. While it can be challenging to create and remember different passwords, it’s wise to do so.
How can you improve the online security of your banking and financial accounts?
- Use a unique username for each of your banking and financial accounts.
- If you use the same password for your banking and financial accounts as for other less important accounts, change the passwords on those banking and financial accounts today to make them unique.
- While you are at it, consider changing your password to a passphrase which can be much stronger than a shorter password.
What is the Passphrase Method?
Start with an uncommon phrase or series of specific words that you will remember. Add one or more capitals, one or more special characters, and one or more numbers to make it unique and complex such as sunrise2Red$unset. Or university!4everMore. A passphrase is harder to crack because it is generally much longer than normal passwords, while still relatively easy to remember. A password management app may also be a helpful tool to consider. Review app ratings and reviews from credible sources when searching for the best one.
Tips for creating strong passphrases:
- Pick words or phrases that will be memorable only to you
- The longer the passphrase, the better
- Use a mixture of upper and lower case letters
- Use one or more special characters
- Use a combination of nonsense or slang words that you will remember
A password management app may also be a helpful tool to consider. Review app ratings and reviews from credible sources when searching for the best one.