How long has it been since you changed your passwords?
Unless you work in an industry where cyber security is a top priority, the typical person should change their passwords every 180 days or about twice a year.
Why should I change my passwords?
The internet has become a hub for just about everything. You can stay in contact with friends and family, exchange information with coworkers and employers, order electronics, buy groceries, and more. Websites most people use include Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix. All of these websites store personal information, such as full names, home and workplace addresses, phone numbers, and bank account information. Leaving this information vulnerable online can leave you vulnerable.
What is a good password?
A good password is a mixture of a bunch of variables. You need to be able to remember it or store it somewhere safe. Safe locations to store a password include written on paper in a locked drawer or secure location, a password vault app, and an encrypted file. It is not safe to store passwords on your computer in a text document, on a sticky note by your computer, or a digital notepad on your phone.
A good password is not a word or phrase you use frequently, shorter than 8 characters (letters, numbers, or symbols), and all the same capitalization. Do not include the word “password” in your password. Good passwords have 8 or more characters, and are a mixture of capital letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
You can also make your password numerous words long if words are easier for you to remember than a stream of characters. If you have trouble coming up with a new, unique password, simply search for a “strong password generator” on your preferred search engine. There are many free websites that will provide you with a random selection of characters.
Here are some examples of a good password:
Notice that some of these password examples are gibberish and others contain English. If you know a second language, you can use a combination of English and non-English words or only use non-English. If you use non-English, it’s still important to use a variety of characters.