4 password tips to help increase your online security

June 06, 2023

By Anne Purcell

4 password tips to help increase your online security

A woman stands outside while looking down at her phone and smiling

We do everything online, from keeping in touch through social media accounts to banking. This has led to everyone having a lot of sensitive data behind User IDs and passwords.

As the internet evolves, hackers continue to become more innovative. It is important that those who use online services use passwords that are as secure as possible—especially when it comes to banking and financial security. When it comes to password security, data shows that over 50% of adults use birthdays or names in their passwords and the most commonly used password is 123456—even in 2023. Keeping your information safe using strong passwords for your accounts should be a top priority.

Here are some recommended tips to help you create strong passwords:

Tip #1: Create something hard to guess but easy to remember

Common passwords include names of kids, relatives, favorite sports teams or important dates. While using these types of passwords might be easier for you to remember, using any information found on social media or on public records can make it easy for hackers to figure out your password. 

Consider using these tips and tricks for more secure passwords:

  • Use a word or phrase you can remember, but replace some letters with special characters. For example:
    • Use a zero to replace the letter “o” (0 vs O).
    • Use a three to represent the letter “e” (3 vs E).
    • Use the at symbol instead of the letter “a” (@ vs a).
    • Use a Passphrase (e.g., GoodMorningSunshine!)
    • Y0urD095m3ll4@
    • @th3Bu5st09
  • Spell a city backward, capitalize a few letters within the word or add special characters. For example:
    • Dubuque, Iowa becomes awoIeuqubuD, aWoIeUQubuD or 3u9r3QuB1@.
    • Chicago, Illinois becomes sionillIogacihC, SionilLioGaciHc or $i0nilli0gaci#c.
  • Securely store your strong password in case you forget it.

Tip #2: Don't use the same password for multiple websites

Using the same password for multiple sites is tempting, especially when you are creating more difficult passwords to remember. However, using the same password for numerous sites increases your chances of a hacker accessing more than one of your accounts.

Consider using a password manager to help keep your passwords organized and easily accessible. A password manager is an app you can install on your phone or computer that stores passwords in one centralized location. This way, you'll only have to remember one strong password instead of multiple. Make sure to select a reputable password manager.

Tip #3: Change your password often

Cybersecurity experts recommend changing your passwords every three months; however, there are instances when you should immediately change your password. Events such as:

  • Your account is hacked. If something happens that indicates your account has been hacked, such as unfamiliar activity, it is best to change your password as soon as possible. Immediately alert your bank or credit union if this occurs. In addition to monitoring your accounts, take advantage of any fraud moderating options your bank or credit union may have. For example, Alliant offers transaction alerts and other security options that are designed to make you aware if something suspicious seems to have occurred. If you receive a fraud alert, you should consider changing your password as soon as possible.
  • After a data breach. If you are the victim of a data breach, contact all organizations you think may have been affected and work with them to reset all passwords.
  • You remove someone from your account. Reset your passwords immediately to secure you information.

If you need to change your Alliant password for any reason, you can learn how to do so here.

Tip #4: Use two-factor authentication (2FA) to increase security

While having a strong password is one way of increasing security, if two-factor authentication is available, consider using it to increase security even more. Two-factor authentication requires a second identity validation when logging in.

You can learn more about two-factor authentication on our blog and get step-by-step set-up instructions for 2FA on your Alliant account in our help section.  

Increase your account security with strong passwords

Passwords are essential. While creating passwords that are complex is more time consuming than using simple passwords, they provide more protection for your online accounts.

View additional resources on what you can do to increase your security: 

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