Don’t Reuse Your Old Passwords!

Everyone has a bazillion passwords, and we know managing them is a pain.

Experts constantly tell us to make all of our passwords unique and different but don’t reuse them or write them down. That’s a tall order unless you have a photographic memory, but here are a few tips for creating new passwords:

  • This is nothing new… Create complex passwords that are at least eight characters with a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. If you use 123456, “password” or “abcd1234”, you’re a hacking incident waiting to happen.
  • Use passphrases as a password, such as a phrase or a sentence. This could be a short phrase you like or say a lot, a favorite song or movie title, etc., but it should have multiple words. Even if the phrasing sounds somewhat common, it would be hard to guess and hack. Some examples are: thewallbypinkfloyd, ILoveTheCardinals!, or cubsworldserieschamps2016. You could make them a little more complex by adding some uppercase letters, numbers or other characters. The sky is the limit on what you can come up with, but if it means something to you, you’re more likely to remember it.
  • Consider using a password generator* such as LastPass and 1Password to generate your passwords for you. Experts urge us not to write them down, but if absolutely necessary, keep your passwords under lock and key. It’s wise to do this even at home, but this is especially true at work and/or any area that others can access.
  • Don’t recycle variations of your old passwords. We know… this is a tough one!
  • Lastly, even if a site or app you use doesn’t require you to periodically change your password, you should. This is especially true for banking, investment, and shopping sites where very sensitive personal or financial data is shared or stored.

* First Farmers State Bank does not officially endorse or promote any particular service.