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Tips for Creating Passwords to Protect You from Hackers

After JPMorgan’s major security breach that affected 83 million households and businesses, the financial institution reassured customers that they "found no evidence" of compromised account numbers, passwords, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. However, security experts agree that customers should still change their passwords as an added precaution.

As reported in a NY Daily News article, JPMorgan sent out an email to customers explaining that the firm didn’t believe customers needed to take any action related to their accounts.

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Regardless, security experts urge customers to always err on the side of caution, especially following a situation like this. Considering additional security breaches ranging from Target to Home Depot, it’s more important than ever to be extra cautious of your passwords.

Enlisting the help of a good, difficult-to-decipher password can make it more challenging for a hacker to break into your accounts. Below, you’ll find some tips for creating passwords that are easy enough for you to remember, but nearly impossible for others to decode.

Use a Password Management App

Password management app 1Password acts like a digital wallet, storing your personal passwords, login details and credit card information in one place. It also helps generate unique, strong passwords. In addition, it integrates the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor, allowing you to unlock the app with your fingerprint. Another app, LastPass, also generates passwords and provides an option for two-factor authentication for added security.

Make Your Password as Randomized as Possible

Consider using a randomized series of characters that incorporate a mix of letters (in both uppercase and lowercase), numbers and symbols. While long words such as your hometown or company name could be easy for others to decipher, a random variety of characters will leave others guessing.

Consider Characters That Represent a Sentence

An easy way to remember a password that is random and difficult to decode is to create a sentence and then list characters that represent the sentence. For example, you can use a sentence like, “My favorite place is the beach,” and break it down into something like, “mFp1StB!.”

Use a Variety of Passwords

It’s important to use different passwords for each account you have for obvious reasons: If someone guesses one password, it will be easier for him or her to hack into your other accounts.

Update Your Passwords Regularly

It’s just as important to routinely change your passwords to minimize the chances of others accessing your accounts without you knowing. As easy as it is to fall back on a previous password you’ve already used, work on keeping each password fresh and unique.

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