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Privacy & Security

Ameriana FYI - The Importance of Strong Passwords

We've all heard the frightening stories about identity theft - and the time and money it takes to straighten out the mess left behind.  Believe it or not, something as simple as a "strong" password can be an effective line of defense against those who would access your accounts or steal your identity.

What does a password need to be rated as "strong?"  At a minimum, your passwords should:

  • Include at least eight characters.
  • Not include any word that can be found in a dictionary.
  • Contain at least one character from each of these categories:  upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

A password might meet most of this criteria and still be considered weak.  For example, Hello2u! is a weak password, but by changing just a few characters, H31l02U!! is considered a "very strong" password.  If you need help, you can search for "random password generators" or "test password strength" for sites that will 'grade' your password(s). 

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