Shopping online for big bargains can certainly save you money this holiday season.  But, if your account passwords aren’t secure, you’ll be paying big-time when hackers and thieves hijack your accounts.

Create secure passwords to protect your email, banking, and e-retail accounts from unauthorized access.  Here’s how:
Never Use Your Login as Your Password

While it may be easy to remember, this is one of the first username and password combinations that thieves will attempt in order to access your account.  Never use your entire login, a portion of your login, or anything related to your login as your password.  For example, if your login is your first name, do not use your last name as your password.

Avoid Common or Obvious Passwords

A study by revealed that one of the most commonly used passwords is (ironically) “password”. If you don’t want to use a randomly-generated password, at least give thieves a challenge by choosing complex words and phrases that include numbers or punctuation.

Avoid Words from the Dictionary

If you can find it in the dictionary, even if it’s not an English dictionary, it is not a good choice to use for a password. Hackers use programs that can quickly run through all of the words in the dictionary to find a match for your password in a matter of minutes. Also, stay away from words that are spelled backwards and profanity.

For more information on how to create a secure password, visit