Are your online passwords safe?

Password Today, nearly everyone has passwords for email, banking, social media, and other Web sites. As a doctor, your passwords may protect your email and social media accounts, your practice website, patient information in an EMR/EHR system, and even your money. Passwords are guessed or stolen every day, often by people who do not even know their victims. No password can be completely secure, but there are some steps you can take to lower your risk.

How to choose better passwords

The most important way to protect your online accounts is to use a different password for each site, because if one password is stolen, the thief may try using it on other sites. For example, if your email password was stolen, and you use the same password for a bank account, the thief may gain access to your money.

Key Point: Choose different passwords for each Web site you use, especially for email and bank accounts. Be careful with your passwords, to be sure that you do not mistakenly give them to online scammers.

To choose better passwords:

  • Do not use your login ID as your password – this the easiest password for someone to guess
  • Do not use patterns that appear on your keyboard, such as “123qwe” or “zxcvbn”
  • Check to be sure your passwords are not on the latest “25 worst passwords” list, reported by many news sites (
  • Experts recommend using a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols instead of whole words

Your web browser may also offer to save passwords for you when you log into a site, so that you do not have to remember each one. This can be helpful if you have a computer or mobile device that no one else will use, but it should not be done on shared computers. It is also best not to save bank passwords or email passwords.

Check your online accounts

If you think one of your online accounts may have been accessed by someone else,...

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