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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 mobile and online banking.

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

And it's a good idea to make sure you have a strong and separate password for your email accounts. If criminals hack into those, 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 this:


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.

Another way of creating a strong password is to take the first letter or symbol of an easy-to-remember sentence.  

For example, My Dog Is Called Cyril And I Live At 45 Acacia Avenue Staines could become this:


Adding 5 exclamation marks would make it even stronger:


That's a complex 19-character password that's easy to remember.

Helpful tips

  • choose a unique password for online banking and don’t use it for anything else
  • think about changing your password if you're worried it's been compromised
  • 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:

  • names of family members
  • names of pets
  • favourite football teams
  • birthdays

Don’t use any of the following either:

  • the word 'password'
  • numerical sequences, for example '12345'
  • easily recognised keypad patterns, such as '14780' or 'qwerty'
  • single common dictionary word that hackers could crack

Never write down your passwords or share them with anyone.

Also, 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.