We’re told to change our passwords often to minimize getting hacked. Now we’re told this is a bad thing.
But not for any inherent techy reason. It’s because frequent password changing makes many people lower their guard when it comes to creating new passwords.
They get lax and end up with passwords like Bear1, Crazy4uand GetHigh1978. Or, they often only minimally change the password, such as going from Hotbaby!! to Babyhot!!.
Believe it or not, despite an infinite number of permutations involving 26 letters, 10 numbers and 10 symbols, many people struggle to create new passwords beyond just minimally altering existing passwords. And don’t even ask these folks to remember any new and very different, strong passwords.
But if you already have unique, strong and jumbled passwords, you do not have to frequently change them. So if your Facebook password is Ihv1dggnPRvGr8tGamz!, there is no reason to change this 90 days after creating it. However, changing ANY password every six months to a year is still a wise idea. And this infrequency won’t leave you drained.
And you can always use a password manager to do the figuring for you anyways. A password manager will create long, strong and unique passwords, and issue you a single master password.
Rules for a Virtually Uncrackable Password
- Does not include any names that are found in a dictionary, including proper names, sports team names, rock group names, city names, etc.
- Does not have any keyboard sequences, no matter how unintelligible. So even though sdfgh looks jumbled, it’s just as much a sequence as 12345.
- It contains numbers, letters and symbols.
- If you predict struggling to remember a bunch of jumbled passwords, then think of a phrase that you will never forget, especially one that pertains to the account you want to create the password for. An example might be the password for your credit card account. You can shorten “I Hate Making Credit Card Payments” to:iH8tmkngCCpymnt$!.
You can also shorten phrases that pertain to things you love, like for instance, a phrase about your favorite movie, food, vacation, TV show, etc.
Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.