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    Password Security Tips

    Strong computer passwords are essential to merchants to help prevent unauthorized refunds and sales from occurring.  Cybercriminals use sophisticated tools that can rapidly decipher weak passwords.

    Length and complexity are keys to password strength

    • Whenever possible, use at least 14 characters or more.
    • An ideal password is long and has letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers.
    • The higher the variety of characters in your password, the better.
    • Use the entire keyboard, not just the letters and characters you use or see most often.
       

    Create a strong password you can remember

    What to do

    Suggestion

                           Example

     Start with a sentence or two (about ten words total).

    Think of something meaningful to you.

    Long and complex passwords are the safest passwords

     Turn your sentences into a row of letters.

    Use the first letter of each word.

    Lacpatsp

     Add complexity.

    Make only the letters in the first half of the alphabet uppercase.

    LACpatsp

     Add length and complexity with numbers.

    Put numbers that are meaningful to you at the beginning or end.

     

    17LACpatsp

     Add length and complexity with punctuation.

    Put a punctuation mark at the beginning.

    ?17LACpatsp

     Add length and complexity with symbols.

    Put a symbol at the end.

    ?17LACpatsp%

     

    Five tips to keep your passwords secret

    1. Never provide your password in an email or as a response to an email request.
    2. Do not type passwords on computers that you do not control, such as those in Internet cafes, computer labs, kiosk systems, and airport lounges.
      • Cybercriminals can purchase keystroke logging devices that gather information typed on public computers, including passwords.
      • If you often need to check email from a public computer, consider using Hotmail, which allows you to obtain a single-use code. To get a single-use code, click Sign in with a single-use code, and Hotmail will send a one-time use authentication code to a mobile phone. You can opt to use the unique code, instead of your password, to access your account on a public machine.
    3. Don't reveal your passwords to others.
      • Keep your passwords hidden from friends or family members (especially children), who could pass them on to other, less trustworthy individuals.
    4. Protect any recorded passwords.
      • Don't store passwords on a file in your computer, because criminals will look there first.
      • Keep your record of the passwords you use in a safe, secure place.
    5. Use more than one password.
      • Use different passwords for different websites and services.  

     

    Avoid creating passwords using:

    • Dictionary words in any language.
      Words in all languages are vulnerable.
    • Words spelled backward, common misspellings, and abbreviations.
      Words in all languages are vulnerable.
    • Sequences or repeated characters.
      Examples: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent letters on your keyboard (qwerty).
    • Personal information.
      Your name, birthday, driver's license, passport number, or similar information.

    Additional resources for computer and internet security 

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