Protecting Your Online Accounts

Protecting Your Online Accounts

By Rebecca Shershen, ASRS Technology Services Analyst

Have you have ever stared at a login screen of an infrequently visited website, trying to recall your password? I have often stared blankly at the screen, searching my brain for that unhackable password I created—only to realize it’s so obscure, I can’t remember it!

No one wants to be a victim of identity theft or fraud. Strong passwords require a combination of letters, numbers, special characters, and the use of upper and lower case formatting. However, it also needs to be something you can remember. Here are some tips for creating a strong password:

Use a minimum of 10-12 Characters:

You need to choose a password that’s long enough. There’s no minimum password length everyone agrees on, but you should generally go for passwords that are a minimum of 10 to 12 characters in length.

Don’t rely merely on a Word or Combination of Words:

Any word on its own is bad as it’s too easy to hack. Combinations of words, especially if they’re obvious, are also not strong passwords. For example, “house” or even “red house” are memorable but weak combinations.

Include Numbers, Symbols, Capital Letters, and Lower-Case Letters:

Use a mix of different types of characters to make the password harder to crack.

Don’t Rely on Obvious or Common Substitutions:

For example, “H0use” isn’t strong just because you’ve replaced an o with a 0. That’s just obvious. Try to mix it up in unexpected ways (harder to hack) but memorable to you. For example, “BigHouse$123” meets the requirements of strong password yet it’s not so obscure as to make it unmemorable for you, the user.

Follow these guidelines for all of your account passwords (every account should have a unique, secure password!) Remember, the effort you put into creating a strong, yet memorable password is your best protection against becoming a victim of hackers.

Protecting Your myASRS Account

The ASRS encourages you to regularly log into your myASRS account to verify your information. It is the safest way to ensure your account is protected. Each time a member logs in, an automated message is sent to the email address on record, alerting you that your account has been accessed. You can change your password at anytime by logging in, or resetting it by using the "Having Trouble Logging In?" feature.

For additional help, watch the Unlocking Your Account video.

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