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Strength in numbers: how a longer password deters hackers

Computer keyboard with two security buttons close-up

Hackers are sophisticated at breaking passwords, so it’s important to try and stay a step ahead of them by creating the strongest ones possible.

Park National Bank requires new accounts or updated passwords to use at least eight letters and characters at a minimum. However, you shouldn’t hesitate to make them longer. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has found that long phrases, all in lowercase with typical English words, do the job. Think “thequickbrownfoxjumpedoverthelazydog,” but make sure the phrase is memorable and unique to you – such as “idrinkcoffeeeverydayinabrownroundmug.”

Phrases are easier to remember than symbols. Plus hackers are aware that people generally only change one character when updating passwords. These longer-phrase passwords are harder for hackers’ software to crack. As always, don’t use information readily available on social media, such as pets’ or kids’ names.

Shorter passwords are still effective, but think of the longer ones as adding extra layers of protection.

 

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