Take the time to follow these six tips for making your passwords less easy to breach. It will help keep your financial accounts, cards and email accounts out of the hands of hackers.
1. Create “strong” passwords for debit cards, credit cards, online retailers and personal email accounts. The passwords should have numbers, upper- and lower-case letters, and symbols. For example, “3Dogz$$!” is better than “1006.”
2. Use different passwords for work and personal email accounts, bank accounts and online retailers. If a hacker cracks one password, he won’t have access to others.
3. Never use for a password the last four digits of your Social Security number, your maiden name, date of birth, middle name, child’s name, pet’s name or anything else easily discovered or guessed.
4. Discourage your bank from using the last four digits of your SSN as a default PIN. If they do, change it.
5. Change your passwords regularly.
6. Memorize all passwords or store them in a secure location. Don’t record them on anything you carry with you—including your cell phone.