14 ways to create strong passwords to protect your credit

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Want an unexpected way to protect your credit? Create strong online passwords. The better your passwords are, the more likely you can keep your information safe. Click through to discover 14 ways to create and maintain strong passwords.

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1. Give every account its own password

Yes, it’s a pain. And, yes, it can be hard to keep track of them all. But if you don’t make a new password for every online account you have, then when hackers find one, they’ve found them all. Make sure you create a unique password every time you sign up for a new account online.

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2. Don’t theme your passwords

While you’re at it, making a theme so you can remember all of your passwords might not be the best way to go either. If your passwords are too similar to each other, then they are all more easily compromised.

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3. Make your passwords long

Besides making sure each password is unique, you should also make sure each one is long. Different experts recommend different lengths, but it’s generally advised to make your passwords at least 12-16 digits long.

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4. Don’t make the passwords too easy

You might feel tempted to borrow from your lifestyle to create your passwords. Using your pet’s name in your password is one example — or your favorite hobby. Other things you might feel tempted to try might be your hometown, birthday, or street name.

But it’s not a good idea to do this. Information that can be guessed about you, such as information that exists in public records or can be deduced by what you share on social media should not be included in your passwords. In that case, they’ll be easy for you to remember, but also easy for hackers to guess.

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5. But you can give yourself memory tricks

That said, there is a memory trick you can try: Using a favorite phrase or song lyric that no one would be able to guess. Just be sure to use numbers and special characters in between the letters.

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6. Don’t use common words

Two passwords that are easy to remember are “password123” or “123456789,” but they’re also really easy to hack. Avoid using common words, phrases, and number sequences in your passwords.

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7. Never use letters only

This one is really important: Don’t create a password without including numbers and special characters. This helps make your passwords unique and more difficult to guess.

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8. Intersperse letters, characters, and numbers

On that same note, make sure you sprinkle the characters and numbers you choose throughout your passwords. Grouping them all in the beginning or end weakens the passwords.

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9. Use two-factor authentication

Anytime an online account offers a two-factor authentication option for signing in, make sure you utilize it. (This is when a website prompts you to enter a special code received via text or email after you entered in your login credentials, and you can’t complete signing into that account without that code.) This isn’t a foolproof security method, but the extra layer of protection can’t hurt.

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10. Don’t store your passwords online

With all these long and complicated passwords, you might feel the need to store them somewhere lest you never remember them again. If you must, write them down on a piece of paper that you keep in a secure place. Definitely don’t store them in a document or email, though, as they’d be compromised if your computer or online accounts are ever compromised.

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11. Consider using a password manager

There is one online option, however, that’s built for storing passwords: Password managers. You could consider using these software tools to both create and store unique passwords and then the only password you’ll have to remember is the one for the password manager. You can see popular examples of such products listed here by Wirecutter..

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12. Think twice before saving passwords to your browser

You’ve probably noticed that your browser, such as Chrome, offers to save your passwords for you. Although this technology is advancing, there are security risks involved.

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13. Be careful how you share passwords

If someone needs one of your passwords for some reason, it’s best to share that over the phone or in person. Another option is to share via your password manager if you opt to use one, as many come with a share function. Just avoid sending your password via text, email, or another messaging app, as that could compromise your password.

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14. Change passwords periodically

Finally, it’s not a bad idea to change your passwords from time-to-time. For example, if you’ve shared one of your passwords and the other party no longer needs it, you can change it for extra security. You might also want to change your passwords if you haven’t done so for more than one year.

This article originally appeared on UpturnCredit.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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