Online Account Security
To keep your online accounts secure, follow these guidelines:
- Create a different password for each online account, especially the following:
Facebook/Social Media websites
Any online account that includes your personal and/or financial information
Important: If you have an Apple ID, the Apple account password should be different from your email password. The only exception is if you use an Apple email address (@mac.com, @me.com or @icloud.com) as your primary email address.
- Create passwords that include 8 characters or more
- Change your password periodically (i.e. every 6 months or more frequently)
- Keep a record of your passwords in a notebook or on a thumb drive and store in a safe place
- Avoid storing your passwords on your computer, iPhone, iPad or any other device connected to the Internet
- Avoid using personal information such as your name, address, birthday, anniversary, a family member’s name, a pet’s name, or any information that could be found in a directory
- Avoid using common words as your password, even if spelled backwards or in a different language
- Avoid using repetitive characters or characters in a sequence
- Avoid sending your password in an email
- Avoid entering personal information after clicking a link in an email
- Avoid opening an email attachment when you’re not sure what it contains, even if the email is from someone you know
Step-by-Step Example of How to Create a Strong Password
Step 1: Create an acronym from a favorite phrase, song or book title
- Phrase: my password is extremely secure
- Acronym: mpies
Step 2: Use a combination of capital and lowercase letters
- Password: MpiEs
Step 3: Use numbers in the middle of the password. Numbers at the beginning or end are easier to guess.
- Password: Mp94iEs
Step 4: Include characters such as punctuation (? ! .) and symbols ($ & @ * %). Refer to the specific website to determine what type of characters are accepted when creating an online account.
- Strong Password: M$p94iEs!