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Cyber Security-Creating Unique Passwords

While Bulkley Valley Credit Union has extensive security measures in place to protect you from fraud, there are also important steps you should take like:

choosing a secure Personal Identification Number (PINs) and

unique passwords - Personal Access Code (PAC)



Choosing a unique password for each of your online accounts is important. 

When choosing online passwords, verification questions, credit and debit card PINs don’t choose something that would be easy to guess or information that could be obtained easily by others.  General rule of thumb is if the information could be found in your wallet you should not use it for a password– ie: real name, company name, driver’s license number, membership numbers etc..  

You’ll need to think about how to come up with a memorable password.  You don’t want to use something obvious with dictionary characters, so consider using some sort of trick to memorize it.

For example, you might find it easier to remember a sentence like.  “My first car was a 91 blue Toyota Tercel loan payments were $500 per month”.  You could turn that sentence into a password by using the first digits of each word – so your password would become MfcwA91bTTlpw$500pm.  This is a strong password at 19 digits.  Sure, a true random password might include a few more numbers and symbols and upper-case letters scrambled around, but it’s not bad at all.

While the differing length of the words makes brute forcing the password very difficult, you could always complicate things even further with a simple-to-remember pattern—one that would also make the password pass the test for forms that check passwords for complexity. For example, choose four random common words “bluejaycrowskynest” and apply a pattern where you join words by alternating symbols and numbers like “^” and “5” and then capitalize the second (or whatever) character of each word.  You’d end up with the password “Blue5jay^Cr0w^sKy^Ne5t” - long, complicated, and containing numbers, symbols, and capital letters.  But it’s still much easier to remember than a randomized password.

It’s not all about password strength. If you re-use the password at multiple locations, it may be leaked and people may use that leaked password to access your other accounts.   Do not share or reuse your passwords and avoid writing them down.

Protect your home computer – make sure that you install anti-virus, anti-spyware and Internet firewall tools purchased from trusted retailers or suppliers.  Keep these programs enabled and continuously updated to protect your devices against malicious software.

For more information about steps you can take to protect yourself, contact Bulkley Valley Credit Union or read more about it in our Community News, Five Steps to Protect Yourself.


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