Password Selection Tips

To help keep your identity safe, it is important that you change your passwords periodically. Use these guidelines to help create strong passwords.

Password Guidelines

Make your Online and Mobile Banking passwords unique and strong!

Long & Strong

Use passphrases to make long, complex passwords more memorable. For example, take the sentence "Bob and I camped July 10–20." Remove letters, and you get "B&Icamped7-10-20", meaningful to you, but random to a computer.

Additionally, if the system permits, use the full phrase, "BobandIcampedJuly10-20." Remember – long is strong!

Creative Ideas

Get creative when making up passwords.

  • Spell a word backwards.
  • Smash several words together.
  • Put several words together and spell one of them backwards.
  • Capitalize the first two letters of one of the words in the middle.
  • Type something meaningful, but shift your fingers one key to the left or right, or one row up or down.

Strong Choices

  • Password should be at least 12–15 characters long — as long as possible. Length is more important than complexity.
  • Use as many different character types of characters as you can: digits (0–9), upper and lowercase letters (A–Z, a–z), and special characters (@#$%^&*?{}=+!).
  • Use a passphrase instead of just a password.
  • Test your password using a trusted site such as The Password Meter or Microsoft Safety & Security Center. Choose a password that scores high on both. Sites can be spoofed — click on a known good link, or type the URL yourself. For additional security, use a variation of the password you tested.

Weak Choices

  • Simple repeating patterns (1212121)
  • Adjacent letters/numbers on the keyboard (ASDFG)
  • An account number
  • Part of your Social Security number
  • Information available on social networks or genealogy sites, (e.g., birthdates, anniversaries, your name, pets' or children's names).
  • One of the Top 25 Passwords
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Storing Passwords

Securely store a copy of login names, passwords, answers to security questions, and date created. When you're not concerned about forgetting, you will pick stronger passwords and IDs that you haven't used.

Do Not

  • Store your passwords unencrypted or in a visible location near your computer
  • Use the same password for multiple accounts
  • Share your password with others. By doing so, you authorize them to access your accounts, for which you assume total liability.

Instead, Do

  • Change your passwords periodically
  • Use a different password for each site
  • Securely store login names, passwords, and answers to security questions
    • Use a locked drawer for paper copies
    • Use a Password Manager to store passwords electronically
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Password Reset or Security Questions

These questions are as critical as passwords. Instead of answering honestly, or using information accessible on social networking or genealogy sites, make up answers:

Favorite childhood pet?
Dirt
High school?
Had Fun
Mother's maiden name?
Favorite Grandma

For more information on keeping your identity safe, visit the Security Center.

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