Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Online Privacy and Your Digital Footprint

image with caption "If only all apps were this honest" with instructions to "Pick a password. Don't reuse your bank password, we didn't spend a lot on security for this app."

Best practices for passwords

Create strong passwords. Stronger ones are unusual phrases that combine capital letters and lowercase, incorporating numbers and special characters (at least 8 characters long but more is better). 

Use different passwords for each login. It is so very tempting to reuse passwords, but this is the easiest way for a hacker to get into your accounts once there has been a security breach.

Change passwords often.

Don't include personal information (like phone number or birthday) in your password

Don't share your passwords with other people.

Use two-factor authentication or biometric data (like fingerprint or face recognition), if available, to reduce the number of passwords you have to remember.

Better yet, use a password-encypting app to create and remember all your passwords.

Why not just reuse a couple of strong passwords?

You went through a lot of trouble to come up with really strong, unusual passwords - maybe even two or three. It took time to memorize them. Why not just use these same ones over and over in rotation?

Because that greatly increases the chances that, once someone steals or figures out one of those passwords, they can gain access to not just one but many accounts.

One of the ways security breaches and identity theft happen is when old account data isn't archived securely. If you are still using (or reusing) a password from years ago, then you are vulnerable.

Of course, the more devices and accounts we have over time, the harder it is to keep track of passwords. Using a password manager app that lets you safely save strong, encrypted passwords can help.