1. Choose passwords that would be difficult for someone who knows you to guess.
2. Think of a phrase that is easy for you to recall and use acronyms.Use the first letter of each word in a phrase that is easy to recall to create a password. Be extra safe by including symbols like pound or dollar signs or numbers in the middle of the password or between letters.
3. Use keyboard combinations.Using a combination of letters, symbols and numbers creates the most secure passwords for financial data.
4. Do not use personal information.Never use personal information numbers for passwords. This rules out license numbers, social security numbers, birth dates, etc.
5. Do not consult the dictionary for passwords.Never use words that can be found in a dictionary published in any language.
6. Change passwords occasionally.Mark your calendar to change passwords quarterly. This is time-consuming, but not as time consuming as recovering from identify theft.
7. Do not repeat passwords.It is obvious that the same password should not be used for every file, website, server and system you log in to, but many people fall into this practice. If you use the same password for many financial records, imagine the damage you will incur if someone finds your password for one set of records. Use a different password for each website, account, and so on.
8. Keep a record of important passwords that guard your financial data.Do not keep a written record of your passwords anywhere near your computer.
- If you must store passwords, use an encrypted software such as those mentioned under More Password Advice. PC World also has suggestions for password management software.
- Keep a printed record of passwords in a safe deposit box at a local financial institution or in some other extremely secure physical location. When you change passwords as recommended in item 6, make a trip to the secure location to change records.
- Shred old written password records.