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Creating a secure, strong password

Protect yourself online.

Read and use these password security guidelines to create a strong, secure password.

Great passwords should:

  • Combine upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers. The more varied your password is, the harder it is to guess. Use at least one number and one capital letter.  Watch for the password strength indicator to give you some hints.
  • Have eight or more characters. Longer passwords are more secure.
  • Not be obvious. Do not use personal information like your name, birthday, or driver's license number.
  • Avoid sequences or repeated characters. Examples: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent characters on your keyboard (QWERTY).
  • Be different than your password for other sites. Otherwise, if someone acquires that one password, they could use it to access your accounts with other sites.

Keep it safe:

  • Keep your password fresh. Change your password regularly, at least once a year. The more often, the better.
  • Keep your password secure. If needed, keep a record of your passwords in a safe place.
  • Do not share your password. Never give out your password to anyone, not even friends.
  • Do not recycle your passwords.  Create new, unique passwords. Never re-use one from the past.
  • Use antivirus software. Equip your computer with antivirus software.

Even if you have a secure password, a computer virus can allow someone to compromise it.

  • Be careful when visiting websites. If you get an e-mail asking you to change your password or provide any personal information, be cautious, even if it appears to come from a legitimate company.
  • Type the password in yourself. Rather than clicking a link in such an e-mail, type Treasury site's URL into your browser's address bar.
  • Look for or Only type your sign-in information into sites that end with "".