The world gets more and more digital every single day. Consequently, the more personal information you put online, the more vulnerable it is to cyberattacks. Think about it…whether from your social media profiles, streaming subscriptions, emails or shopping accounts, if it’s online, your data is out there.
Don’t worry, protecting your financial and personal information is a top priority at First Internet Bank. So while we’re working hard to ensure your online security, you can help too! How? By following these steps to help create strong passwords and best practices.
- Start with a sentence
When it comes to creating a hard to crack password, length is key. One way to help create a long password, that’s also easy to remember, is to use a sentence. Make it memorable – so you don’t forget it – but avoid using personal information (your college, pet names, family members, favorite sports teams) or easily guessed passwords (“123456,” or “password”) that can be hacked with little effort.Be creative and have some fun with it! You’re a cat person? Great, but not a fan of cucumbers? Even better. Think of a sentence that incorporates both, like “Cats do not like cucumbers but fish,” and then take out the spaces to get “catsdonotlikecucumbersbutfish.”
- Avoid using real words
Using proper words can actually make your password easier to guess. So start with the sentence you created in the first step – “catsdonotlikecucumbersbutfish” – and remove all the vowels, or use only the first one or two letters of each word so it becomes “cadonolicubufi” or “cdnlcbf.”
- Mix in numbers, symbols and uppercase letters
This step you may be more familiar with since many websites now require you to have at least one capital letter, one lowercase letter, a number and/or a special character to be able to save an account. But how do you do this effectively? It’s simple – don’t worry! Capitalize some letters and replace a few with similar characters and numbers. “cadonolicubufi” from step two becomes “CaD0No!icUBuf!.” As you mix it up, try not to repeat letters, numbers or symbols right next to each other.
- Do not reuse other account passwords
Now that you have a strong password for one of your accounts, now is not the time to recycle it. Say, a hacker is able to uncover the password for one of your online shopping accounts. If you recycled a password, then they’d be able to have access to any other website, profile – or worse – email account that used the same password.
- Use a password manager
So, you’ve now got yourself one really strong password, but the odds of you remembering a dozen or so of them might be a little unrealistic. That’s why there are password manager programs to help! Imagine having an electronic vault that can help you store long and complex passwords so you don’t have to remember them. The only thing you need to remember is the password that unlocks the vault. Once you do that, you can access whatever passwords/accounts you’ve stored in there. Here are some top 2020 password managing programs to consider. Although there are free options available, some features may require a fee.
If you don’t use a password manager, or simply don’t want to use one, you can keep track of your passwords the old-fashioned way by writing them down. Just make sure you store them in a safe place like a locked cabinet so they don’t end up in the wrong hands.
- Sign up for 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA, also known as 2-step verification, is an added security measure to ensure the person signing into your account is in fact you. According to PCMags, 2FA often uses two of three ways verify your identity. The first one is normally a password you created and remember. The additional options are either to prove you have access to a given device when signing up or, even better, a facial or finger recognition.
Remember, although creating a strong password isn’t the easiest thing to do (or remember!), it’s much more convenient than dealing with someone having access to your personal information.