8 Tips for Better Password Security

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While 63 percent of respondents in a recent survey said they were more concerned about privacy and security than ever before, 51 percent still reuse the same passwords and 69 percent have shared work passwords with colleagues. It begs the question - How can we do better?

In this article, we’ll give you eight easy-to-implement tips for better password security. Armstrong Bank cares about your online security. We are committed to helping our customers protect their sensitive personal information from identity theft and scams. Contact us if you have any questions!


1. Create alphanumeric passwords.

The strongest passwords are composed of a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. It’s not only about length; it’s about the character diversity. At Armstrong Bank, the password associated with your Online Banking profile is required to be at least 8 characters long and have letters, numbers, and a special character.


2. Use a different password for each account.

While it may be inconvenient, the strongest password is one you don’t use for any other account. If you reuse the same password and it gets compromised, cybercriminals can easily look up your other accounts, such as social media or financial institutions, and see if they can get into more than one of your accounts with the same password.


3. Consider a password manager.

One way to make it easier to remember multiple passwords is to store them in a password manager. In fact, don’t remember your passwords at all--the best one is a password you don’t know. Password managers like LastPass, DashLane, Google Password Manager, and Apple’s iCloud keychain can generate and authenticate passwords for you without the need for you to remember the password itself. Even if you prefer to create your own passwords, a manager will store them for you in a cryptic container. It’s far safer than the classic method of writing all your passwords on a notepad to keep in or on your desk. 


4. Try passwordless authentication. 

Do you find all this password stuff annoying? Cybersecurity experts are working to make passwords obsolete. You may already use multi-factor or biometric authentication to get into your phone, email, and other important accounts. Our Online Banking as well as Mobile Banking App both require Two-Factor Authentication as a way to protect your accounts and resources even further. The Two-Factor Authentication we have in place is even more secure than traditional multi-factor authentication methods such as challenge questions and answers.



5. Use a passphrase instead of a password.

This is a great way to both remember and strengthen your password. Start with a phrase you can remember, such as “Kittens are awesome.” Then type it as one word, switching in numbers and special characters for some of the letters. For example: K1TTen$@re@w3s0Me.


6. Don’t share your password with anyone.

You’ve heard this before, but it’s worth repeating. Telling other people your password, even close family and friends, makes you and your password vulnerable to unnecessary exposure. Keeping your password to yourself helps prevent identity theft.


7. Leave personal information out of your password.

Basic personal information--your favorite movie or band, kids’ names, initials, birthday, anniversary, etc.--is easier to find online than you may think. Hackers use these details to try and guess your password(s). That’s why it pays to create passwords without any personal identifying facts.


8. Provide unexpected answers to security questions.

The same rule--”leave out the personal” – applies to security question answers as well. Instead of providing the actual city where you were born, try something silly yet easy to remember, such as “Tomato Soup.” You can use a password manager to keep track of security question answers as well.


Armstrong Bank is here to help you stay safe online.

We are committed to the safety and security of our customers and their sensitive personal information. If you have any questions or need help creating stronger passwords, feel free to give us a call