How to Create Safe Financial Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Last updated on February 20th, 2024 at 12:57 pm

Do you use the same password for your financial apps, whether they’re for money transfers, payments, or banking? If you do, you’re not alone. One safe password is hard enough to remember, let alone multiple.

Still, creating a strong and unique password for sites like Remitly is a good idea. More than 65% of all data breaches in 2019 led to password leaks. That’s a scary statistic, considering a leaked password can lead to fraud.

The good news is that selecting a strong and memorable password can go a long way toward protecting you. This guide teaches you how to create a safe password for Remitly and every other site you use.

Quick tips for password safety

  • Create different passwords. Use a variety of passwords for the sites you use to deter cyber criminals.
  • Use a password security tool. Check your password against a security tool that can offer suggestions to improve the strength of your login information.
  • Review data breach notifications. If a website informs you of a data breach on its site, act quickly and change your login information.
  • Regularly change your login information. Consider changing your passwords every few months to reduce the risk of getting hacked.
  • Opt for two-factor authentication. Take advantage of any site that offers additional security measures like two-factor authentication. For example, some sites may send you an email with a code to verify your identity in addition to entering your secure password.
  • Consider using a password manager. Password managers store your password information and in some cases, they may use facial recognition software as an added layer of defense.

The weak password phenomenon

Nearly 7 in 10 people admit to using the same password on multiple sites and devices. Meanwhile, 13% say they use the same password on every site that requires a password.

These numbers show that even though most of us receive warnings about the dangers of an insecure password, we often overlook them for convenience.

In fact, when people get asked to change their passwords for security purposes, about half change just one digit or add one character to their old password. 

Of course, we’ve all been guilty of less-than-safe password practices at some point or another. However, when it comes to passwords for our financial services, it’s important to take the extra steps to ensure security.

Why does a strong financial password matter?

It’s so important to use unique, strong passwords everywhere they’re required because of the emerging technologies that hackers and cybercriminals have at their fingertips.

Cracking a password isn’t a matter of someone sitting in a dark room typing in a variety of combinations. While some people become fraud victims due to this type of brute-force attack, most cyber criminals are much more resourceful.

It’s entirely feasible to use modern software to try every single eight-character password combination in a relatively short time. That’s why new suggestions recommend using 12 or 16 characters in your password.

Adding just one character exponentially increases the number of possible combinations, which is why the longest passwords are the most secure.

How to create strong passwords

Passwords can be tough to remember, especially when a secure password tends to be long and seemingly random. 

The requirements for your Remitly password align with the expert suggestions, such as:

  • At least one uppercase letter;
  • At least one lowercase letter;
  • At least one digit;
  • At least one special character; and
  • At least 12 characters in total

Combining uppercase and lowercase letters can lead to around 2 billion potential combinations for a six-letter password. However, throwing in digits and special characters is an extra safety step.

How to remember your safe password

Writing down your password isn’t a good idea, so what can you do if you need help remembering it?

Use the following tips to make your secure passwords easier to recall, whether it’s your Remitly password or any site’s login information:

Save clues

Instead of writing down your passwords, follow McAfee’s advice and keep a list of clues. Make these clues unique and something only you can decipher. 

Use a formula

If you absolutely can’t remember a random password, create a formula that helps you remember it based on the site you’re using. For instance, your Remitly password may start or finish with “N” since navy blue is the site’s dominant color.

Get creative

It’s best to avoid spelling out common words or including birthdates in your password, but you can get creative and come up with your own “coded” language for passwords. For instance, lowercase “e” may also be replaced with a “3,” or you can use “m” instead of “n.”

Create an acronym

Incorporating the rules above, you might create a password using the acronym of a memorable sentence. For example, “You will forever and always be in my heart, Jenna” could be turned into “uwf+ab1M<3J.” Adding memorable numbers to the start, end, or middle adds extra security.

Use dictionary words

Another approach is to use a paper dictionary as a source for random passwords.

With this method, you open the dictionary to any page and look at the random words that appear there.

Choose a long one to be your hard-to-crack password, and then add the page number of the word and a punctuation mark at the end.

Adding these characters can protect you from so-called dictionary attacks. In these attacks, hackers create software that enters all the dictionary words in a database to see if any provide access to accounts.

Once you’ve created your strong password, grab a notebook and write down the name of the site. Then, put the page number and the line number of the word.

For example, say you open the dictionary to page 30 and find the word apparition 10 entries down on the page. You could make your Remitly password Apparition30!.

Then, write the following in your notebook: Remitly 30 10. Continue using this method to create unique passwords for all of your accounts.

For security, store your notebook in a safe place, such as a lockbox, and store your dictionary somewhere else.

Top password security tips

Follow these important tips to create strong passwords and protect your password information.

Employ different passwords for your online accounts

We touched on this earlier, but it’s so important that it’s worth repeating. Create a unique password for every site you use.

Unique passwords limit how much damage cyber criminals can do through brute force attacks and hacking software. 

For example, say that a hacker manages to get your social media account password through a security breach. If you only have one password for all of your accounts, they can now potentially get into your email. From there, they can find out what websites you use and gain access to more of your accounts, like your online banking.

On the other hand, if your social media account has a unique password, the damage the hacker can do is greatly limited because they don’t have the information for all your accounts.

Use a checker to review strong passwords

A good rule of thumb when creating your password is to check it against a security tool. These tools can suggest tweaks to your password ideas. For example, “uwf+ab1M<3J” goes from taking about 52 years for a computer to crack to 400,000 years just by adding “11” to the end.

Among other security precautions, most websites have a built-in tool that shows you the strength of your password while you’re creating it. This proves very helpful as you work to upgrade the security of all your passwords. 

Try a password generator

If you’re finding it difficult to come up with strong passwords, try a password generator. It’s a tool built into some browsers and available on certain websites.

When you click a button, the password generator creates a random password that consists of lower and uppercase letters, numbers, and characters.

The codes generated are usually good password ideas because they feature a random series of characters. Since it only takes a second to create a strong password this way, you can make multiple passwords in no time.

The only downside to using a generator is that the characters they produce aren’t often memorable passwords. As a result, people often use generators along with password managers, which we’ll introduce you to in the next section.

Consider a password manager

A password manager makes remembering and creating strong passwords for every site you use much easier.

Password managers are apps and software programs that store password information for you. You typically need to create a separate unique password consisting of letters, numbers, and symbols to access them.

Some password manager apps take security one step further by working with the camera in your mobile device or your webcam. These password managers have facial recognition software that lets them scan an image of your face and only open it when the camera confirms that you’re trying to gain access.

If you use a password manager, you don’t have to worry about remembering the login details for all of your accounts, freeing you to create a super-secure long password consisting of random letters, numbers, and symbols.

Keep an eye out for data breach notifications

When websites and service providers learn of data breaches, they’re obligated to notify those affected, but how they do so may vary. Some send emails, while others mail letters.

If you receive a notification, select a new password that’s completely different from your previous one to protect your account.

Update your login credentials regularly

Choosing a new secure password for all of your accounts on a regular basis is a smart move. While you may get a notification if you’re ever affected by data breaches, it’s possible that what you thought was a strong password has gotten into the hands of data thieves without your knowledge.

By changing to a new secure password every few months, you reduce the risk of hacks. 

Rethink storing passwords in your browser

Most web browsers can store your password details for various sites.

With some browsers, the storage feature may provide the same level of security you’d expect if you use a separate password manager, but this isn’t always the case.

Before you agree to save your strong password in your browser, read about the security features to keep your password private.

If you opt to store your passwords, limit who has access to your mobile device or computer. While you’d hate to think that someone you know may betray your trust and access an account without your knowledge, it does happen.

Be wary of public Wi-Fi

Many hotels, restaurants, office buildings, and other places offer public Wi-Fi you can access without entering a password.

While these hot spots are convenient, they can provide opportunities for clever data thieves. Avoid entering passwords on sites when you’re using a public Wi-Fi hotspot to protect your personal information.

Consider your social media profiles when creating passwords

If you prefer to create your passwords rather than use a generator or another of the methods described above, keep in mind what you’ve shared with the public.

Public social media profiles can provide a wealth of information for cybercriminals to exploit.

Depending on how much you share, they may be able to determine the names of your pets, where you were born, your birthday, your anniversary date, the name of your high school, your graduation year, and other personal information you might use when making passwords.

Never use personal information you’ve shared on social media as a starting point to avoid ending up with weak passwords. Setting your social media accounts to private can also help.

Don’t share passwords with anyone

Keeping your passwords private is vital to your online safety. While it may seem obvious to not share your passwords with anyone, the truth is that many people do.

For example, you may have heard of someone using the password from a friend’s account to access a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu. If that person uses simple passwords, their friend may be able to easily guess what login information they use for other sites.

Also, scammers may try to obtain your password in different ways. Some make phone calls claiming to be security departments and ask for password details. They may even send out fraudulent emails or texts requesting the data.

If you receive this type of call, text, or email, the best password safety practice is to contact the business directly using the contact information you have for them. Double-checking the authenticity of the message or call can prevent you from becoming a victim of fraud.

Opt into two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication works hand in hand with strong passwords.

Available through many websites, it requires you to do more than just enter a password to access your account. For example, you may need to enter a code sent to you via text message or email, or scan your fingerprint or face for access.

By providing a second layer of security, two-factor authentication can dramatically reduce the risk of data theft, so opt for it whenever you can.

Create a strong password and send money today

Now that you know the best way to create a strong password, you’re ready to protect yourself while sending money to your family abroad with our easy-to-use app.

Remember to keep your new Remitly password safe and secure. If you forget it, check out this guide to resetting it.

Learn more about what Remitly is doing to protect your personal information and accounts here, and begin sending money today.