It really is important to have strong, unique passwords for all your accounts holding any personal or financial details.
This is critical where you are logging on to a financial institution which only uses a single password or password plus some other simple check.
In fact if you are holding a lot of money with such an institution, it would be better to move to one that executes security properly. Examples of good practice include supplementing a password with information from a token supplied earlier or texting you on your mobile with a number that you have to re-enter.
Fraudsters regularly hack into personal online accounts to obtain details which will allow them to defraud you. To prevent fraudsters, it’s very important to use strong passwords when setting up and accessing online accounts and online banking.
This issue has been made even more important in the last few years because criminals have hacked into many corporate accounts and stolen personal data. Sometimes this data has included passwords, and while these are usually encrypted, the criminals have the computer power to work out what the simpler passwords were. The stronger the password, the harder this makes it for the criminal
Passwords should be memorable enough not to have to write them down and long enough to be unique and hard to guess,.Alternatively a password manager could be used to generate and store extremely complex passwds for each of your applications.
Here are some ideas which have been recommended in the last few years:-
Use long passwords. Eight characters were recommended as the absolute minimum in 2018.
Mix the characters. A mixture of numbers and letters, both UPPER CASE and lower case is good, but special characters such as £$%&* etc are better. Check, though - some banks tie you to letters and numbers only.
To make the password easier to remember, try using several unrelated words, like NHS choose and book do. Something like "Relative*Skate*Dongle" would be hard for a criminal to guess. You could change the l3tters in w0rds to make them more difficult to gue55, too!
Alternatively, why not use the first letters the words of a long phrase. Something like "I Used To Work 60 Hours A Week In 1985!" becomes: IUTW60HAWi1985!
Change passwords regularly
Make sure passwords are not stored on devices that have shared access by other people, for example in internet cafes and when using other public Wi-Fi.
If you believe you have become a victim of account hacking, change your passwords immediately and report to Action Fraud: