In this internet-focused age, it can feel like you need an account for everything – online shopping, social media and emails. With this many accounts, it’s tempting to just use the same password for all of your log-ins. After all, if you use a different password for each account, you’ll never remember them all, right? However, if you use the same password for your current account as you do for other online accounts, you could be leaving yourself open to fraud.
According to Experian, current account fraud is experiencing a spike at the moment. One cause of this is believed to be customers who use the same password for multiple accounts, as this makes them more susceptible to criminals. This is because once fraudsters have managed to guess one password, they’ll have access to your entire online life – and they could use this to take out credit or commit fraud in your name.
Current account fraud
The rate of fraudulent current account applications is now more than double than it was a year ago, and Experian says that this type of fraud is often a ‘gateway’ to other crimes. Once criminals have your details, they can then use this information to take out a loan or open a credit card.
You’re more at risk of this repeated fraud using your information if you use the same password for your online accounts that you use for your bank account. Fraudsters are using sophisticated techniques to guess your password and they can then use this to access multiple accounts. If you’ve used your current account password for an account on a website where your details aren’t protected securely, it could be very easy for the criminals to get their hands on your money or to commit identity fraud using your name and address.
Choosing strong passwords
It can be really hard when you’ve got so many accounts to remember different passwords for all of them but if possible, try not to use the same password more than once. Here are our top tips for coming up with strong passwords and making sure you remember them:
• Passwords that contain a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters as well as number and symbols are stronger, so try and use a combination of characters.
• It’s likely that you’ll have trouble remembering a random mix of letters and numbers so instead try using an acronym of an easy-to-remember phrase. For example, the popular song Never Gonna Give You Up becomes NGGYU. Change the case of some of the letters, add a memorable number and a symbol and you’ll get something like this: NGGyu$91
• If you can’t remember all of your different passwords, don’t write them down somewhere where people will be able to find them, like next to your computer or on a Post-It note. Instead, store them in a file in your computer and password-protect this. Just make sure you remember this password otherwise you won’t be able to access it!