Create strong passwords
A strong password is an important protection to help you have safer online transactions. Here are some steps to create a strong password. Consider using some or all to help protect yourself online:
Length. Make your passwords at least eight (8) long.
Complexity. Include a combination of at least three (3) upper and/or lowercase letters, punctuation, symbols, and numerals. The more variety of characters in your password, the better.
Variation. Change your passwords often. Set an automatic reminder to update passwords on your email, banking, and credit card websites every three months.
Variety. Don't use the same password for everything. Cyber criminals can steal passwords from websites that have poor security, and then use those same passwords to target more secure environments, such as banking websites.
There are many ways to create a long, complex password. Here are some suggestions that might help you remember it easily:
What to do
Start with a sentence or two.
Complex passwords are safer.
Remove the spaces between the words in the sentence.
Turn words into shorthand or intentionally misspell a word.
Add length with numbers. Put numbers that are meaningful to you after the sentence.
More strategies for strong passwords
Test your password with a password checker
A password checker evaluates your password's strength automatically. Try our password checker.
Avoid common password pitfalls
Cyber criminals use sophisticated tools that can rapidly decipher passwords.
Avoid creating passwords that use:
Dictionary words in any language.
Words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and abbreviations.
Common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing "and" to "&" or "to" to "2".
Sequences or repeated characters. Examples: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent letters on your keyboard (qwerty).
Personal information that could be guessed or easily discovered. Your name, birthday, driver's license number, passport number, or similar information.