Having a secure password is a huge part in cyber security for you. Being a tax preparer, you are responsible for a lot of sensitive information and your clients trust you with it. At TaxSlayer we understand this completely. With the IRS putting the spotlight on preparer security, now is the best time for you to update your passwords and make them secure!
Before you can determine if your password is secure, first you must know what is a good password. As you know, TaxSlayer has a list of requirements for creating a new password. Creating a strong password is essential to keeping your accounts secure and TaxSlayer strongly encourages each user to follow those guidelines for all of your passwords. The more complex your password is, the less likely you are to get hacked.
Typically, a good password should have:
- At least 8 characters
- At least 1 number
- At least 1 special character (i.e. !@#$)
- At least 1 uppercase letter
- And at least 1 lowercase letter
To do this in a way that you can remember, we suggest starting with a word or phrase that is familiar to you. As an example, we will use the word PASSWORD.
Now that you’ve selected your phrase, start adding the complexity requirements.
- First, let’s make sure our word/phrase is at least 8 characters: password
- Next, let’s add a number to the word/phrase: passw0rd (Notice how the o in password has now been replaced with the number 0)
- Good, but the password is still too simple. Let’s add a special character in place of a letter: pa$$w0rd (Instead of using S we are now using $)
- Now we should add the uppercase letter to it: pa$$woRd
- Finally, let’s make sure we have the lowercase letter: pa$$w0Rd
Perfect! Now you have a strong password to use for your account. It is important to remember, however, that you should not use the same password for more than one account. Just because the password is secure, does not mean it is safe to use across every account you have. What you can do is take your secure password and add slight variation to it for each account. This allows you to keep your passwords and your accounts as secure as possible.
For example, you can use pa$$w0Rd for one account, pa$$w0Rd1 for another, and pa$$w0Rd1@ for another.
Creating a secure password doesn’t stop there. After you meet the complexity requirements and create all of your passwords, it’s important to not write your passwords down anywhere. Or if you must write them down, keep the paper locked in a secure place that no one may access. If you’re like the rest of the world, it’s hard to remember all of your passwords for each account. That’s okay! There are programs you can use, such as LastPass, Dashlane, or Sticky Password, that can help you keep track of all of your different passwords. You also can create an Excel Spreadsheet and keep it secure by password protecting it.
Is your password secure? If not we encourage you to take this guide and create strong, secure passwords. For assistance with resetting TaxSlayer Pro program passwords, please contact our Customer Support line.