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Creating Stronger Passwords

Passwords are everywhere. We use them for everything from online banking to home security systems and social media platforms. Sometimes it's hard to keep them all straight.

Passwords may be a hassle, but they are one of the best defenses against identity theft. Using a strong password is a smart way to keep cyber thieves out of your accounts. An easy way to create a strong password is to use a variety of characters and make it both random and lengthy. The greater the variety, the better.

  • Our number one tip is to use a passphrase to help you remember a complicated password. For example, you might think of the phrase “To be or not to be, that is the question.” If you take the first letter of each word and replace words with symbols, this becomes “2Bon2Btit?.” You only need to think of your passphrase to remember this very secure combination of letters, numbers and symbols. “Mdb@ceD!” is hard to remember, but “my dog barks at cats every day!” is not.
  • Combine letters, numbers, and symbols. Each character you add increases your protection from fraud. A password without symbols needs to be considerably longer to have the same degree of protection as an eight-character password with symbols.
  • Randomly capitalize some letters. Sprinkle them throughout your password.
  • Avoid easy-to-guess passwords. This includes your login name, sequences (123456789), or look-alike characters (M@ddie).

If you have any questions or want more specific security information you can contact Member Service at member_services@rcu.org or call 800-341-9911.