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Easy Ways to Protect Your Online Accounts

Published April 29, 2024

Did you know that 92 percent of people use the same password or a variation of a password? We reuse passwords to feel like we are in control of our accounts, however, it is most likely putting your accounts at risk!

There are many ways to strengthen your online accounts. To learn some of our tips and tricks, read our recommendations below.

Tips to Strengthen Your Password

There are many ways to increase your password security. Often times, websites have specific requirements when creating passwords. These extra requirements provide additional password strength. A few of the easiest ways to strengthen your passwords include:

  • Use more than 8 characters
  • Utilize a combination of letters and numbers
  • Use both uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Include at least 1 symbol or special character {!@$?*&~+}
  • Use a longer phrase that you have personal ties to (Ex. GreenEgg$@ndHam or ItsA$truggleforthisMuggle21)
  • Use words other than family or pet names
  • Choose numbers other than a birthday or anniversary
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Common Password Mistakes

When creating passwords, it is easy to want to include elements that are easy to remember, such as pet names and personal information. However, when you do this, you are weakening your password and possibly putting your online accounts at risk. Some ways to avoid common mistakes:

  • Use different passwords for separate accounts
  • Try to use random facts or phrases rather than personal information
  • Use longer passwords
  • Change your passwords on a regular basis
  • Use a password management software rather than writing it down on paper or storing passwords on your phone
  • Never share your password with anyone... not even technology support!
  • Make your security questions and answers as hard to guess as your password

Two-Factor Authentication

If you are worried about the security of your passwords, on many websites you can choose to utilize two-factor authentication or 2FA. Two-factor authentication is a system to verify your identity and add an extra layer of protection for your accounts.

Most 2FA’s use a time sensitive PIN number, password, or pattern that is delivered straight to an associated device. Other forms of two-factor authentication include security tokens, or biometric forms of authentication, like fingerprint, voice, or facial recognition.

Set aside some time to change out your passwords and increase your security across all of your online accounts.


This was originally published in 2021 and has been updated by West Michigan Credit Union to maintain accuracy.

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