|Tips for Creating Effective Passwords|
In combination with your online user ID, your online password is like the lock on your front door, as it provides first-level defense against unauthorized access. Choosing a weak password is like buying a cheap lock to protect your valuables. Following are guidelines for creating a strong password:
AVOID THESE PASSWORD PITFALLS:
- Do not choose passwords or security codes (PINS) that can be easily guessed by others. For example:
- Do not use account numbers
- Do not use personal contact information like addresses or phone numbers.
- Do not use personal information like your name, birthday, Social Security Numbers, passport numbers, or names and information for family members. This is the first information a criminal will try.
- Do not use sequences of repeating characters, like "1234567" or "abcdefg".
- Avoid using only look-alike substitutions of numbers or symbols. Passwords like "P@ssw0rd" are easily guessable by criminals, but can be effective when combined with changes in case, length, and misspellings.
- Do not use dictionary words.
RECOMMENDED PASSWORD PRACTICES:
- Create unique, original passwords using a combination of numbers, letters (upper and lower case) and special characters.
- Use longer passwords, as long as you can remember them.
- Choose a password that is meaningful so you can easily commit it to memory.
- Avoid using software or toolbars that store your password.
- Change your password regularly.
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