Password security best practices

January 30, 2024 | 4 minute read

Your passwords are your first line of defense against cyber crime. If cyber criminals gain access to your passwords, they can take over your accounts, steal your identity and use your contacts to reach out to family and friends and steal their information too. Fortunately, there are simple password best practices to help keep you and your data safe from cyber criminals.


Why it matters

With your passwords and access, cyber criminals can: 


  • Transfer funds out of your accounts or charge purchases to them.

  • Create a fake identity with some of your information and use it to open a new credit card or apply for a loan.

  • Phish using your email address or social media accounts to reach your contacts and convince them to share confidential information.

  • Steal your identity and claim your tax refund or government benefits.


Be proactive

  • Use a password manager — a software program that stores your passwords in a single secure location accessible via a master password.

  • Avoid writing down your passwords or storing them on your computer.

  • Use multifactor authentication and enable biometric logins when possible.

  • Lock mobile devices with a strong password or biometric protection and avoid all public, unsecured Wi-Fi networks.

  • Use a pin number for tax submissions and government benefits.


If you suspect you have been targeted

  • Don’t delay. Act quickly if you think your passwords have been stolen, if you receive a changed password notification from providers, or if your account access changes on apps.

  • Freeze financial accounts that may be affected and inform credit bureaus.

  • Know and follow your local laws and guidelines for cyber incidents.

  • Document everything about the event. The more information you have, the better armed you will be to assist an investigation by your company, your bank and law enforcement officials, and the better prepared you will be against future events.


The Global Information Security (GIS) team at Bank of America is made up of information security professionals staffing multiple security operations centers across the globe who work 24/7 to keep data and information safe. 

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