We recently discussed the needs for heightened online security measures in light of increased cyber crimes lately. As more complex and unique fraud is developing, there are some simple measures we can take to protect ourselves- like coming up with a secure password for our online accounts.

We know that online passwords are often a nuisance. Every website has different rules for what should and should not be included… capitalizations, characters, lengths etc.

Read these tips to create a password that will fit the bill, keep you safe, and be remembered.

Different account, different password.

Paige Schaffer, president of the Identity and Digital Protection Services says “Criminals have sophisticated algorithms that will hack your Yahoo account, your Facebook account, your Google account, and once they’ve got that same password, they’ll try to use it on all the critical sites.” According to Geico, this is particularly problematic because while the average user has over 26 different accounts, they only use 5 different passwords. If one account gets hacked, all other accounts using that same password are put at risk.

Update with regularity.

Online passwords should be updated and changed every 6 months. It keeps hackers from being able to watch your activity and put together your passwords. Put a recurring date on your calendar for twice a year to help you remember. Then revisit your password creation tips to come up with a new password to keep your identity protected.

Watch out for passwords saved on devices.

If you are logging in to an account on an insecure network, be careful. Uncheck the “remember me” boxes or popups that save your information. Keep your passwords as secure as possible by choosing a password you’ll keep by memory.

Practical Elements of the Perfect Password

12 characters.You’ll definitely meet the minimum requirements on a given online account with 12 characters. Choosing this length as a standard will keep you from having to brainstorm new passwords from scratch with every new website.

Mix up your cases. Passwords should be a combination of upper and lowercase letters- as well as include numbers and symbols. The more types of characters you include, the more possible combinations a hacker would have to go through to get it right.

Don’t be Captain Obvious. Your dog’s name plus your birthday is not exactly discreet. In fact, easily recognizable words in general may not do the job. An idea? Make up a word. You guys are creative, we know you are. Zagglezoot. Promikoness. Artismaboof. Take just a minute to come up with a something you’ll enjoy typing in each time you log on. Think of a word and mix it in with the other rules above.

The perfect password can be fun to come up with. And it’s definitely more fun than identify theft or cyber fraud. Enjoy the process and enjoy internet safety for years to come. At Henry Insurance, we’re here to help you protect what matters.