An average business user today has 191 accounts protected with passwords. Total number of passwords in the world? Over 300 billion in 2020. And yet, the numbers of new registered data breaches keep increasing steadily every day.
In this context, the question “how often should you change your password?” is more relevant than ever. Because if this single practice can help to reduce the chance of experiencing a cyber attack, well, then it’s really worth it.
Sometimes, to answer this question, the specific time frame is not an answer and it requires urgent action.
You should change passwords instantly after:
- A data breach (check if your email has been pwned);
- You’ve noticed an unauthorized access to your account;
- A security breach;
- You found your data was stored in plain text;
- You logged in to an account by using a public computer (let’s say in a public library);
- Or if you haven’t changed your password lately or… ever.
If anything of the above happened, it really doesn’t mean you should change your passwords every month or so. In fact, it may even put you at greater risk as you won’t remember the whole pile of new passwords and… will simply fall into a dangerous trap of reusing them.
So, how often should you change your password?
The perfect timing for changing passwords, according to most cyber security specialists, is to do it at least two times a year.
However, if ‘to change’ for you means to slightly differentiate symbols or replace a lower letter with a capital one, then the following experts suggestions is for you:
- First, store your passwords in one secure place – a password manager – so you can always have an eye on all accounts you manage. Plus, it’s easy to update the “expired” ones in just a few clicks.
- I know the temptation is always there, but never ever reuse passwords on multiple accounts. Or, never reuse the ones you used in the past. If they have been compromised earlier, it’s likely they still are.
- Try to think of new, complex passwords or simply generate randomized ones with an in-built password generator.
- Lastly, enable two factor authentication whenever possible. This makes it super hard for a hacker to steal your password, because he doesn’t have another device that is a must to confirm your identity.
In the end, an increasing number of searches on search engines “how often should you change your password?” is a nice indicator that people started taking care of their passwords, privacy and cyber security at a new level.
If you see yourself among these people, for a fresh start we highly encourage you to protect your accounts with PassCamp – a reliable password manager, designed for your ultimate security online.