May 5th is National Password Day, which is dedicated to promoting the importance of password safety and better password habits. Even though passwords are a part of our everyday lives, many people fail to follow password standards that will keep their information secure.
In honor of National Password Day, we wanted to shed some light on the importance of a strong password, as well as offer some tips on how you can start creating passwords that will better protect your personal information.
Passwords are the First Line of Defense
For most people, thinking of a new, unique password for an online account has become routine. It’s common to recycle passwords over and over again, or choose a new password that is more simplistic and easier to remember.
However, passwords are the first line of defense against hackers and fraudsters trying to access your personal information. A weak password is more likely to result in hackers and fraudsters gaining unauthorized access to your computer or account, leaving your personal information exposed. The impact of this is far reaching, and can result in identity theft, fraudulent charges to credit cards, and even loss of hard-earned money.
Creating Strong Passwords
Creating a strong password doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some ways you can create a password that will be tough to crack:
- Avoid common words and phrases – this includes colors, states, and catch phrases. Fraudsters can use a software program that can take words from the dictionary and run them against your password, making them easier to expose.
- Never Recycle Passwords – while it’s convenient to reuse passwords, this is one of the most common ways hackers steal your personal information.
- Avoid Personal Information – names, birthdays, and significant dates can be found online through social media accounts, which is why it is best to avoid using this information in a password.
- Create a Long Password – try to aim for a password that is between 12-15 characters, and includes a combination of special characters and numbers.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication When You Can – this is another layer of defense used to verify your identity, as access to an account is granted only after presenting multiple pieces of information. Many websites and apps will ask for a password, and then require users to answer a question or enter in a code sent to the cell phone connected to the account. This tool is a secure way to help ensure that no one logs into an account without the proper security measures in place. You can often activate this feature in the ‘settings’ section of your device or account.
We Want Your Information to Stay Secure
Here at Blackhawk Bank, we want to make sure that your information is secure and doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. To learn more about information security, check out the National Cybersecurity Alliance at https://www.staysafeonline.org. If you are interested in learning more about how Blackhawk Bank can help you, contact us today!
VP Physical & Information Security