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6 Tips for Stronger Usernames & Passwords

September 03, 2019

How many accounts requiring a username and password do you have across the world wide web? Too many to answer on the spot? You’re not alone. We keep our information stored all over the internet, protected—we assume—by passwords and usernames we’ve often not put enough thought into.

We’ve all done it. And we can all do better.

Columbia Credit Union takes security very seriously. Like, very. So we’re sharing some tips to make your usernames and passwords as strong as possible. Because we want our information to remain ours. And hackers are always lurking—waiting to pounce on weak login credentials.

Here are 6 tips for keeping your usernames and passwords secure:

  1. Make your passwords long. These days, hackers use computer programs to crack passwords, running every combination of letters, numbers, and symbols together to see what sticks. The longer the password, the longer it takes.
  2. Use a nonsense phase. If the combinations of letters, words, and phrases that make up your password are not in the dictionary, can’t be found in published literature, and not grammatically correct, then your password will be harder to crack.
  3. Include numbers, symbols, uppercase, and lowercase. Mix up your characters for a stronger p@$Sw0Rd.
  4. Avoid obvious personal information. It’s not too much of a stretch for someone to learn your name, birthday, city of birth, pet’s name, and other information through social media accounts and other sources of information online. Avoid these in your passwords, usernames, and security question answers.
  5. Don’t reuse passwords. It can be tough to remember different passwords across so many accounts, but if you use one password and it gets hacked then you’re going to be in trouble all over the place. Consider using a password manager. These services and applications encrypt your passwords, store them across your devices, and monitor your password behavior to ensure you stay safe.
  6. Change your password often. For especially sensitive information, such as your banking info, change your password regularly to keep your info safe. Fresh security is the best security!