In today’s digital world, so much of our personal information is just a password and a click away. And when it comes to coming up with a password for secure online banking, it’s important to come up with something that will keep you and your finances safe. We’ve come up with the following password guide to help you figure out how to stay safe on line. Take a look and see if your passwords are secure enough.

1. Avoid the obvious

While you may be tempted to use your birthday or phone number or even the word “password,” don’t do it. These practices are all more common than you’d think and doesn’t lead to secure online banking. Try to come up with something that no one in the world would ever guess.

2. Go For Long, Not Short

Short passwords can be easily memorized by someone looking ever your shoulder and are easily cracked using certain types of hacking software. Make yours longer, maybe an entire sentence, if possible. The more characters there are, the harder it will be to figure out.

3. Don’t Write It Down

Writing down your password is never a good idea. You never know what that slip of paper might end up in the wrong hands! Come up with something that’s complex, but that you’re also able to memorize.

4. Mix it up

Use a variety of different characters: upper-case letters, lower-case letters, number, even a !, &, or a %. The more variety you can use, the better. You can even get creative. For instance, “sandcastle” can turn into “s&castle.”

5. Change Your Password Often

It’s easy to get lazy and use the same password year after year, but internet security experts suggest changing your password every 30 – 60 days. Think of it as changing locks on your online life once a month. It’s free, easy, and keeps your online bank account as secure as possible, so why not do it?

6. Don’t Use the Same Passwords for All of Your Accounts

In the event that someone figures out one of your passwords, the last thing you want is for them to be able able to access all of your personal information. A good rule of thumb is to have one password for less sensitive information (i.e., social networking sites, email, instant messaging) and another for sites that contain your financial information.

7. Verify the Site

Before you enter your username and password to login to your online bank account make sure it’s the real one to ensure you’re safely logging in. Fraudsters send links in “phishing” emails to trick users into entering information into fake sites. No matter how smart your banking password is, your online banking security can be compromised if you simply hand it over. The best way to be sure you’re on a real site is to type the URL into the browser window yourself.

Following these simple rules will help you keep your financial information safe and secure.

What other tips (without sharing too much, of course) do you have for making your passwords secure?