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How to create a strong password to stay safe online

March is Fraud Prevention Month, an annual awareness initiative started by the Competition Bureau to help Canadians recognize, reject and report fraud.

Fraud can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, education levels or economic background, which is why it’s important to educate yourself on ways to stay safe online. Yet according to CPA Canada, many Canadians continue to use unsafe and outdated techniques to protect themselves and their personal data. Their 2021 survey found that one out of three Canadians had fallen victim to one or more types of fraud at some point in their lives.

ABC Internet Matters, a free program created by ABC Life Literacy Canada and supported by the Canadian Bankers Association, empowers Canadians who aren’t comfortable using the internet with the knowledge they need to get started. With ABC Internet Matters, adult and senior Canadians develop a basic understanding of what the internet is, how to access it, and most importantly, how to stay safe online.

One of the best ways to protect yourself from online fraud is by using a strong password. Follow these tips to make sure your passwords will protect your information:

  • Pick a password that’s hard for someone else to guess
  • Keep your password secret
  • Change your password if you think someone else may have learned it
  • Use different passwords for different websites
  • Combine letters, numbers, and special characters like !@#$, but avoid following a pattern like a1!a1!a1!
  • Choose longer passwords instead of shorter ones
  • Pick a password you won’t forget!

Passwords to avoid

Here are some of the most common passwords in the world in 2019. Because lots of people use these passwords, they’re easy for dishonest people to guess. Don’t use passwords like these

  • 123456
  • qwerty
  • password
  • iloveyou
  • abc123
  • 111111

 Download free resources

ABC Internet Matters offers a variety of free resources to help users stay safe online.

To access more free resources to help you learn more about using the internet, visit ABCinternetmatters.ca.