Password Update

It’s That Time Again

The last time we talked about passwords was July 22nd of this year. It’s exactly 90 days later, and that’s just about the recommended time to change your passwords again. While it might seem cumbersome to continually update your passwords, remember that it’s hard to hit a moving target. This means updating frequently can help keep you safe.

But constantly rotating your passwords, and coming up with new and unique combinations, can leave you feeling fatigued. I think we’re all feeling creative burnout this year. Instead of waving your hand and saying, “I’ll do it later,” let’s look at some of the effective ways to update your security.

What Should It Be?

We’ve written before on how to come up with unique passwords. Here’s an excerpt from our July article:

“We all have our favorite methods of choosing passwords. Some people choose ones that are important to them. Others choose pass phrases. This can be a simple, space free line with an entire sentence. For instance, if you really love this blog, your pass phrase might look something like this.

ilovepcmatictechtalksomuchicheckitdaily

This is a longer configuration of letters that are difficult to guess if the potential hacker doesn’t know you’re a super fan.

There’s another way of writing this pass phrase that complicates it further by adding in numbers and characters.

[email protected]@[email protected]

By subbing out the e’s for the letter 3, a’s for the @ symbol, and o’s for the number 0, you’ve created a long and relatively complicated pass phrase.”

Related Reading  Social Media Shopping Scams

What Do I Update?

We obviously think about our email, bank, and social platform passwords, but did you know you should be changing your wifi and router passwords as well?

Each individual ISP (internet service provider; ie the people you buy your internet from) has a way of renaming your network as well as changing your password. Mine works through an app. Yours might require you to log onto the provider’s website. A quick internet search will help you figure out how yours works.

Type this phrase into your preferred web search site, “How do I change the wifi password for my ISP NAME account?” There will always be someone out there that will give you step-by-step instructions. Speaking of step-by-step instructions, here’s a great article on how to change your router password. At the beginning of the summer, PC Matic conducted a survey of 1,000 people and only 1 in 3 knew how to do this.

You’ll also want to change the passwords for various accounts you have. Any of your streaming subscriptions, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc should get a fresh password this month. Do you have an subscription boxes? Head into your account there any update your login credentials. Really, anything you have with personal information that’s password protected needs a refresh.

All Those Passwords Are Hard To Remember

Yes, I get it. Mine are too. That’s why creating something personal to you for each account (yes, you need different passwords for each account) makes remembering easier.

Many of you said that you write your passwords down in a book. It’s not recommended, but if you’re going to do it, at least don’t keep that book beside your computer. There’s always the option to use a password manager as well. If you aren’t sure about password managers, read this article on the pros and cons.

Related Reading  Securing Your Devices

Whatever you do, don’t store them digitally without some kind of encryption. Keeping all your passwords in the notes section of your smartphone under a label titled Passwords is the least safe option out there.

Keep It Fresh

While there’s no perfect method for choosing and protecting passwords, practicing proper password hygiene can help keep you protected. Changing your passwords, guarding what they are, and making them complex are all part of a larger security plan.

Hopefully you gleaned some great tips from us today. Let us know what other methods you use to create and store passwords. The more we learn from each other, the more we can #BeCyberSmart.

Until next time, stay safe out there.

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

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6 thoughts on “Password Update

  1. Bryan,

    I am partly with you.

    My Yahoo account has had the same strong password for over 25 years, and has never been in a breach.

    I won’t ever increase the likelihood of compromise by changing passwords regularly. Crooks are as likely to brute force a password changed occasionally as one that is strong and never changed.

    2-factor authentication that requires a text message is alright compared to frequent password changes that most likely would be forgotten and cause me to be locked out of my own account.

    I won’t do biometric because a crook who is bold enough could potentially force you to authenticate against your will. Even a corrupt police officer, just because the potential is there.

    I would hope that never happens, but the possibility is there.

    Email providers and sites should warn users if someone or someones are trying to login afrer even 1 failed attempt. Google is getting vetter about doing that. Hopefully more service providers take their customer’s account security seriously and implement notices for failed logins so they can decide how juicy of a target they are, and so they can decide when to either change their password or completely remove their account (for the site failing to protect their account)

    2-factor authentication is the best idea so far, but only if one is texting you a code to enter.

    Can cell phones be cloned? Sure, by people who have the resources to do what they want already with your accounts. There is no 100% safe, ever.

    If someone like that is after your information they will get it one way or another anyway.

  2. How about a password protected spreadsheet?
    Then you just have to remember to write them in the sheet
    and 1 password to access them all.

  3. Why change the password? How do crooks learn an individuals password? I see no reason to change them unless you have crooks standing over your shoulder. It’s a ridiculous inconvenience that serves no purpose unless the individual is giving them away in which case they should just not use them.
    What’s even more of a waste is double authenticity.
    Personally, I have given up using my computer except for browsing. I quit doing online transactions because using the computer is becoming too much of a problem.

  4. I have a password manager that stays local (not on the cloud), is accessed via biometrics or a master password, and contains 273 unique and complex passwords…a different one for every account. Some are generated by the app, a method I prefer, and some are generated by me. One is 41 characters long but most range around 18 characters using a combination of numbers, symbols, upper & lower case letters, and some even contain spaces where websites allow. Changing 273 passwords every 90 days would be an onerous task and just not doable and I seriously question its worth. On day 89 are the crooks just on the crux of discovering my password? Would waiting 2 more days spell disaster? No! Super-computing brute force discovery of any of my passwords could occur on day 1, day 75, or never whether I have a new password or continue using an old one. I don’t routinely change passwords and will not begin to do so. In my opinion, using a different username AND a different password for ALL sites would be absolutely secure and since I have to look them up every time anyway, copying and pasting each, it would barely be any extra work but I have never heard this suggestion from any security experts. If my email address was popping up on the dark web a lot I would change my password more often. But a requirement to change all passwords on a schedule is fraught with problems.

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