The holiday shopping season is almost here. Be careful with the use of your password. Here are some tips of how to protect your password.

There are many techniques that can be used to acquire someone’s password without their permission. You should be very careful with your passwords.

Here are some tips for good password security:

  • Don’t give your password to ANYONE. A legitimate system administrator can reset your password if necessary and should NEVER request it by email or over the phone. The United Federal Credit Union will never call or email you and ask you for your password. If someone calls you and claims they are from the Credit Union and ask for your password hang up and call us immediately.

  • Use a long password. Use the longest password allowed or up to nine (9) characters or more. Passwords that contain a mix of different character types — letters (upper and lower case), numbers, punctuation marks, etc. are much stronger and harder to hack.

  • Don’t use a password containing information about you, such as birthday, favorite movie, etc. that someone who knows you could guess.

  • Look out for “shoulder surfers” when typing your password, much as you would do when typing your PIN number at an ATM.

  • Use different passwords for different systems. For systems requiring extra security, such as email or financial websites, use a complex password that is not used to access other systems.

  • When logging into websites, email, or other services, check for a secure login option. A secure URL for a website starts with “https://” and your browser will display a lock icon in the bottom right corner. If the website does not offer a secure login be aware that the password you use could be sniffed, and don’t use that same password for a secure system. Note: The United Federal Credit Union’s Home Banking is a secure site.

  • Don’t type your password while using someone else’s computer. This may sound a bit paranoid but it is relatively easy to steal someone’s password by installing a keylogger on your computer and then letting a friend use the computer.

  • Use anti-virus software on your computer. Your cable provider usually provides free anti-virus and anti-spam software. You should install it and keep it updated. If they don’t buy a package. It is well worth the investment.

  • Change your password occasionally.