Article | 2:59 min read

The Importance of Strong Passwords


Passwords are essential to protecting your online banking and credit card accounts. Without a strong password you put yourself at risk for fraud. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when managing your passwords for online accounts.

Never reveal your password to anyone. Pay close attention to the string of letters, numbers, and special characters to see how strong of a password you actually use, updating your password frequently.

According to SplashData, a recent study by a prominent online security company, many Internet users have, simply put, terrible passwords.

The list of bad passwords

Every year SplashData releases a list of the year's worst passwords [1]. The top five worst passwords in 2018 were:

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. qwerty
  4. password
  5. 1234567

“Using your name or any common name as a password is a dangerous decision,” said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, Inc. “Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online because they know so many people are using those easy-to-remember combinations.”

In addition to changing your password frequently, it's important to make sure you aren't simply adding an additional character. "Our hope by publishing this list each year is to convince people to take steps to protect themselves online," says Slain. "It's a real head-scratcher that with all the risks known, and with so many highly publicized hacks such as Marriott, that people continue putting themselves at such risk year-after-year."

Effect on online banking

Many financial institutions are heightening their password security and requiring strict password combinations in order to keep your information safe. You are always the best defense when it comes to protecting your account information.

If you notice suspicious activity on any of your accounts, contact your bank immediately to review them.

What makes a strong password?

Strong passwords can come in many forms. Here's what you should avoid:

  • Dictionary words
  • Your name or child's name
  • Passwords less than eight characters
  • Using the same password for multiple logins
  • A consistent string of numbers or letters

Make sure you're using a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Special characters can include keyboard characters such as periods, brackets, underscores, and backslashes. The longer and more varied your password, the better your online account will be protected.

You may now be wondering how it is even possible remember such complicated passwords. Luckily, a few programs and mobile applications exist that help you manage your login information.

Utilize Password Managers

Password managers are programs that store your usernames and other important information in what's known as a master vault. You will need to create and remember the password to access your vault.

From there, options exist that will create new, randomized passwords and the best part is you won't have to remember these complicated combinations. Instead, the programs contain an autofill feature, so whenever you visit your bank's website, the username and password will be automatically filled in.

These programs will store your passwords either on your local computer, in the cloud or a combination of the two. You can also enable syncing features so you're never without your login information, even while you're on a mobile device.

Some of the most common, and best available password managers are:

  • LastPass
  • Dashlane
  • 1Password

All three programs utilize the strongest form of encryption, known as 256-bit AES. This protection, in addition to your master password, further protects your banking information from outside threats.

Protect yourself today by updating your password in Online Banking.

Learn more about Cybersecurity

[1]. SplashData's 2018's Worst Password List

The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its affiliates and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.