Breaking News
More () »

Password trick: Protect your financial identity & save your sanity

Some of our passwords need to be changed every three months. Instead of dreading it, create something that's safe & worth typing every time.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Most of us have to change at least one of our passwords once every three months. Stop adding a new number at the end. Especially if it's a password you use for multiple things. You're just making it easier for a hacker to get into your email, mobile banking, Amazon account, and all the other things. You really need to have all individual passwords. 

“It's a lot easier to crack a password than most people think. Humans have a tendency to create passwords in formats that require a capital letter, a number, and a special symbol. Humans who speak English will put the capital letter at the beginning, then lower case letter, then the number, then the special character,” said Joseph Steinberg, Cyber Security expert.

After reading that, does your password look like what he described?

I know, changing your password every 90 days or so is a pain. You may have a hard time coming up with something new. My trick is to change my password to something that I'm looking forward to. For example, a birthday, an event, or a vacation. One of my passwords last year was redwooDp%rk22.

It's at least 10 characters, it has a capital letter but not at the beginning. There's a special symbol character, but not at the end and then the numbers.

Good passwords are just one way to keep your information and your finances safe. Another way is to freeze your credit. This is easy to do. You freeze your credit with all three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and Trans-Union.

Equifax Security Freeze


P.O. Box 105788 Atlanta, GA 30348//1-800-685-1111

Experian Security Freeze


P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013//1-888-397-3742

TU Protected Consumer Freeze


P.O. Box 380 Woodlyn, PA 19094//1-800-916-8800

And yes, you need to do it with all three. A freeze on one doesn’t mean an ID thief can’t try it on the other two.

A credit freeze is free. Let me explain what it does. It keeps the people who aren't you from opening up new credit cards or loans in your name.
And this is the big point, you can still use all your credit cards when you do this.

Before You Leave, Check This Out