Password Security Best Practices
Never use the same password for more than one account.
Always use strong passwords — avoid using personal names and details, such as pet’s names or important dates.
Keep your passwords private — try to avoid writing them down where someone could see them.
Use multi-factor authentication as an extra level of password security.
Use a password manager to help you manage all your passwords and easily change a password when necessary.
Changing Your Password is Important
Many experts recommend the practice of changing your passwords every few months.
Be sure to always use a strong, unique password for each account.
What's considered a strong password?
8 to 12 characters
Combination of lower and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers
3 or 4 random words in a row, such as catapplethundermop
One that's not reused for multiple accounts
Doesn't include personal info, like the names of family members, pets, or streets, or birthdays
When Should You Change a Password?
As mentioned earlier, there are times when it is definitely necessary to know how to change a password. Following are some of the common scenarios that should prompt you to change a password (or all your passwords) as quickly as possible.
Suspicion or Awareness of a Data Breach
It isn’t always easy to know when an account has been hacked, but if you have suspicion for any reason, change your password immediately. Likewise, if a company you have an account with announces they have experienced a data breach. While a hacker or cybercriminal may not use the information they found right away, your username and password could be out there on the Dark Web for sale by data brokers. It could be just a matter of time before a cybercriminal attempts to access your account with the information acquired from the data breach.
A Friend or Co-worker Learns your Password
Many data breaches occur not necessarily by professional hackers but by people you know. If a friend or co-worker knows your password for a private account, change it. Better to be safe than sorry.
You Lose Your Phone or Computer
Are you in the habit of keeping your passwords saved for accounts so you can automatically log in? If you lose your phone or computer and it isn’t securely locked, a thief can easily access all your accounts. Change your passwords immediately after any loss or theft of a device.