Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
September 21, 2023

Staying Secure: Five Tips for Strong Passwords

Want to do almost anything in today’s digital age? You’ll probably need to create an account and password for it. Things like social media, cloud storage, streaming services, financial services, restaurant delivery, online shopping, gaming and much more usually require you to make an account. A strong password helps protect you against cyber threats. That’s why it’s important to create strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts, especially accounts that involve your money and personal information.

What makes a strong password?

1. Use longer passwords.
One of the most effective ways to bolster your password’s strength is by increasing its length. A longer password is harder for hackers to crack. Aim for at least 12 characters, combining upper and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Avoid easy-to-guess, common passwords like “password123” or “qwerty.”

2. Avoid personal information.
Never rely on easily accessible personal information in your password, such as your name or birthday. Hackers might be able to guess these details or find them online through social media profiles or public records.

3. Use unpredictable combinations.
Mixing various character types makes your password more complex. Try combining uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols to strengthen passwords. For example, changing “Skippy123” to “Sk!ppy1@3” makes it significantly stronger.

4. Try a passphrase.
After all this, you might wonder, “Well, how will I ever remember my passwords?” Consider using passphrases instead of passwords — longer combinations of words that can be easier to remember yet harder to crack, like “IgroceryshoponTuesdays.” For extra security, combine a passphrase with tip number three’s complex combinations, such as “Igr0cerysh0p0nTuesdays!” That’s both memorable and very secure.

5. Choose a unique password each time.
Don’t put yourself at risk by recycling passwords. If one account gets compromised, hackers could gain access to other accounts that use the same login details.

Let’s say that your favorite crossword puzzle app has a data breach. You might not think much of that because it’s just a word game. But hackers can then try those stolen login details on email, social media and financial websites. If you’ve reused the password elsewhere, that simple game’s security breach can cause a lot more trouble than you thought. No matter how strong your password is, if it’s reused, you’re still at risk. Create unique, strong passwords for each service or use a trusted password manager to generate and store them securely.

How to choose a strong password for Grow Online and Mobile Banking

Strong passwords help protect your personal information, financial accounts and online identity. To help keep you safe, we require passwords for Grow Online and Mobile Banking* to:

  • Be at least eight characters in length.
  • Contain at least one lowercase letter.
  • Contain at least one uppercase letter.
  • Contain at least one number.
  • Contain at least one symbol.
  • Not contain your current username.
  • Not be a password you have used in the past five passwords.

Want to add a security boost? Enable multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA adds an extra layer of protection by requiring a second verification step, such as a text message or authentication app code. Learn more about MFA.

By following these tips and understanding the importance of strong passwords, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to cyber threats. So, take a few extra minutes to fortify your passwords today and stay more secure in the digital world.

*Additional data charges may apply. Please see your wireless carrier for more information.

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