Need to Change a Password? Read This First.
Despite all the warnings, people continue to display risky behavior when it comes to creating passwords, such as creating weak ones or reusing the same ones for multiple websites. A recent Psychology of Passwords survey found that 91% of people know that using the same password for multiple accounts or sites is a security risk however, 59% admit they do it anyway.
You really do need to change your passwords frequently and you need to make sure each one is unique and strong. Here are four steps to consider when you are changing your passwords so that you can improve your online security.
- Use a password vault to store your passwords
It’s hard to keep track of passwords for so many accounts. Consider using a password manager that can help you store and keep track of your passwords, and make it easier to change them.
- Audit your passwords
Go through all of your passwords and make sure they are legitimately secure. Read this helpful article on the most common password mistakes — and avoid them.
- Prioritize your most important and sensitive accounts
Experts say you should audit and update your passwords at least once a year. Focus on your most important or sensitive accounts, such as banking, email, medical and taxes, and tackle those first and most frequently. Anything that includes your social security number, credit cards or other sensitive information should be a priority.
- Use multi-factor authentication
If your account provider offers multi-factor authentication, then use it. Multi-factor authentication is when you are required to provide an additional form of identification before you log in to an account, such as a fingerprint or a code. It is one of the best ways to prevent your accounts from being compromised.
Lastly, if you ever hear of a site experiencing a security breach, make sure you update your password for that site immediately. Don’t wait to be contacted by the business. In this case, you need to be proactive. You’ll be glad you took the time to make yourself safer online.