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  • The importance of strong passwords

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    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 2017 were:

    1. 123456
    2. password
    3. 12345678
    4. qwerty
    5. 12345

    The list was rounded out by longer combinations, including references to sports teams and a popular movie franchise. Starwars even made the list at number 16.

    “Unfortunately, while the newest episode may be a fantastic addition to the Star Wars franchise, 'starwars' is a dangerous password to use,” said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, Inc said in a press release to the response of 'starwars' making the list. “Hackers are using common terms from pop culture and sports to break into accounts online because they know many people are using those easy-to-remember words.”

    In addition to changing your password frequently, it's important to make sure you aren't simply adding an additional character. "We have seen an effort by many people to be more secure by adding characters to passwords, but if these longer passwords are based on simple patterns they will put you in just as much risk of having your identity stolen by hackers," said SplashData CEO Morgan Slain in a press release.

    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 2017'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.