In an age of higher cyber risks than ever before, businesses are advising their customers to regularly change their passwords, even though some technology journalists are advising against changing your passwords at all. This contradiction of tactics is leaving people confused as to which method would provide them with the best possible security.
Below, we have answered some of your frequently asked questions about passwords to shed some light on what is an increasingly disputed topic.
- Should I regularly change my passwords?
Yes, changing your passwords regularly is highly recommended. This will prevent cyber criminals from gaining long-term access to your accounts and will limit the damage they can do, should you ever be hacked.
- How often should I change my passwords?
In an office environment, you need to change your password at least once a month. It is often the case that security systems already prevent users from using a password that has been used in the last 12 months. This may be too much for a home environment, but it is proven to make your online accounts more secure.
- Is it okay to use the same password on every website?
It is best to avoid using the same password for every online account. The safest way is to have different passwords for every account, because if a hacker has your password to one account, they will use it to try and access your other accounts. Using different passwords limits the damage the hacker can do, but be sure to keep your passwords in a hidden and secure place.
- How should my passwords be constructed?
A strong password is at least 7 characters long. It consists of numbers, symbols and letters of both cases. Be sure to avoid obvious passwords such as ‘Password1!’. The more obvious and simple the password is, the easier it is to work out. Try substituting ‘o’ for ‘0’ and ‘i’ for ‘!’, to get you started.
- Is it okay to log in to my online banking on public networks?
Always be wary when accessing sensitive accounts on public networks. It is possible to capture traffic on these networks and steal log in details such as usernames and passwords. If you need to access your account on an open public network, log out when you are finished and do not let your device save your password. Clear your cache, cookies and browsing history. The best practice is to only access these accounts on secured home and work networks.
If you would like any more advice on the security of your online accounts, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01522 883636 and talk to a member of our friendly team.