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How to create a strong password

These days you need dozens of usernames and passwords for everything from checking your bills to connecting to your home Wi-Fi. It can be tempting to make them easy to remember – but making your passwords as secure as possible is important, especially the ones you choose for online banking.

You should also protect your other important accounts, such as social media.

And it's a good idea to make sure you have a strong and separate password for your email in particular. If criminals hack into your email, they could reset your other passwords.

Choosing a strong password and updating it regularly can help to protect yourself against financial fraud.

Make it memorable, but not obvious

You can create a strong, memorable password by using 3 random words. Add numbers and symbols as well if you like to make your password even stronger.

An example would be something like TurfChainPasta4!

Don't use things that can be easily guessed, like your favourite football team or TV show. 

Save your passwords in your web browser (such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge) to make sure you don't lose or forget them.

This is safer than using a weak password, or using the same password for more than one account.

Helpful tips

  • choose a unique password for online banking and don’t use it for anything else
  • change your password once a month
  • log off from websites and devices when you’ve finished using them

What to avoid

  • don’t use anything that would be easy to work out such as the name of family members, pets, favourite football teams and birthdays
  • don’t use the word 'password', numerical sequences (for example '12345'), easily recognised keypad patterns ('14780', 'qwerty', etc) or a single common dictionary word that could be cracked by hackers
  • never write down your passwords or share them with anyone
  • don’t use the same user ID and password for online banking and other services

Remember: we'll never ask you for your password. If you receive a call, or email, from someone claiming to be an HSBC employee, government official or even a member of law enforcement and they ask you for your password, ignore the call and contact us immediately.

What next?

For more tips on password security and protecting yourself against fraud, download our scams leaflet (PDF 333 KB).

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