For years now, we have been told that we must protect our passwords in order to keep our online profiles safe and secure. We’ve been told that changing our passwords regularly will ensure that hackers cannot get to them. Some experts have even suggested that our passwords should be changed every thirty days, while others argue this is not necessary.
Here’s a closer look at passwords and when to change them.
Proper Password Strength
Before you start talking about changing your passwords, let’s see what constitutes a safe password. The days of an 8-character password have passed. Today, you should make a password that is at least 12-15 characters. It should also be a mixture of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Random password generators can help you come up with a totally nonsensical password that cannot be randomly guessed by a hacker.
When to Change a Password
These days you should probably change your password regularly, about once every 2-3 months. Changing passwords more often has been found to decrease productivity. You should always change passwords for all of your accounts if you find that you have been the victim of a hack or data breach. The hackers may not have gotten access to all your passwords, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Additionally, there is one extra security measure that can lessen the frequency of password changes: two-factor authentication.
What is Two-Factor Authentication?
Two-factor authentication is an additional layer of security that requires an additional level of information when signing in. For instance, you will be asked to enter your password on a protected site. Then, the site will send a text message to your smartphone or email to your account. This message will have a code in it that must be entered to complete the sign-in.
By doing this, you are adding an extra level of protection and routine password changes are not quite as necessary, although it would still be a good idea to update these annually.
Password security is vital to protect your online identity. By regularly changing and updating your passwords and making sure that they are as strong as possible, you are ensuring that hackers will have a more difficult time stealing your information.
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