We are just under 6 months away from "National Change Your Password Day" on February 1st. Do you know what that means? You should probably change your passwords today if you haven't already in the last month. At a minimum you should change your main email account password.
[getty src="a0073-000091" width="511" height="334"]
Remember 5-10 years ago when you had to change your password every 60-90 days before you could logon to your computer? Well that was because the technology available at the time made it take that long to run through a vast majority of possible password combinations. Your password had to be a minimum of 6-8 characters and not require any numbers or special characters. Today they have to be changed twice as often and be twice as long with at a bare minimum of one number and one special character. OH... and a capital letter let's not forget.
Why is this so miserable?
We do this today and make it so complicated because with today's technology, it literally takes seconds to crack passwords just like the ones you use for your main email account. The one that all your other service's password resets go to. Like your bank accounts. The sad thing is, most everyones passwords still fall into these categories:
I want to get all you readers today to go out and change your password(s). If you only change one, do it for your primary email account. You will thank me later. We want all of you to be in the No Pattern/Long Phrase slice of the pie that you don't see here. To help you get there, go out to https://howsecureismypassword.net/ and play around with some options for your new password. You want the screen to light up GREEN.
If you want, you don't even have to use special characters or numbers (unless of course the site requires it, just add them to the end like 1!). In the image above I use the password 'brittaismyfavoritedog' and you can see, I have plenty of time to sit and wait for the next person to hack my email account. It's simple, it's easy to remember, and I know I'm safe. I'm not lying either. How could she not be your favorite dog.
Do yourself a favor and change your email password before it is too late. The one that opens the door to all your other accounts.
If you have one password to rule them all you are in big trouble. The next hack of any major web service is going to leak your main email account that you undoubtedly use for all your services and just like that, any kid that heads over to PasteBin will be able to login to all of your accounts and start playing around.
Change your passwords every six months people. You won't regret it. You bank account won't be mad you did either. Sure there are some accounts you don't care about but you know the 3-6 that really matter.
Don't give us your passwords, but post below some of the unique tricks you've heard of or might use when generating your own passwords.
Also, stay posted for when we discuss other options like using a password manager and security services like Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).