How to create a safe password for online banking

September 21st, 2012 Allen Schneider

In today’s online world, we all have lots of passwords we have to remember to access everything from social media to online stores to bank accounts. As a result, it can be tempting to use a simple password, or one that you use for other online accounts, for your online banking password.

This can be a dangerous habit to get into. It’s much easier for someone to discover your password, hack into your account, and cause all kinds of serious problems if you recycle existing passwords, or utilize simple (i.e. Password1) phrases.

If your bank truly cares about your security, you’ll be asked to create a password that utilizes uppercase and lowercase letter, as well as digits or symbols. It may be harder to always remember your new password, but your account will be much more safe and secure. And in the long run, you’ll be much happier!

So how do you create the “right” password? We’ve summarized some key techniques below that will help you create a highly-secure password that will protect your account:

Choose a strong password

  • Avoid dictionary words and proper nouns
  • Don’t use personal information
  • Be sure to use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Go for length and complexity if possible

Don’t use the same password for different sites

Should your account with an online retailer or social media site be compromised (look no further than the recent LinkedIn or Zappos breaches), so may your online banking account.  As a result, it’s much safer to use different passwords for different accounts.

Avoid common password mistakes

The most common password mistakes are:

  • Using common character sequences, like abc123 or QWERTY
  • Using frequently used passwords, like mypassword123 or Password.
  • Using your login ID as your password.

Change password frequently

Even if you’re not required to do so, make it a habit to change your password periodically

True, changing passwords can be a bit frustrating from time-to-time. But keep in mind, it’s one of the best approaches for high security online banking, and it protects your account better.  It truly does pays off.

Allen Schneider

About the author

Allen Schneider is Vice President, IT Managing Officer at MidWestOne Bank. He works with the rest of the MidWestOne IT team to maintain the technology infrastructure and safeguard customer information.

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