Q. I read somewhere that I should change my passwords every month to keep people out. That seems a little extreme, doesn’t it? How often should I really change the passwords to my accounts? Do you have any tips on how to create new strong passwords that I won’t forget?
-Jeremy, from Loveland, CO, listens to my national radio show on KFKA 1310 AM.
A. If you keep up with my Breaking News Page, Jeremy, you’ll know how important changing your password is. Hackers and scammers cook up new ways to break into your account every day. You need to stay ahead of them.
However, I agree that changing your passwords every month seems excessive. It’s hard to remember a password that changes that often. I think changing it two or three times a year, or if you suspect it’s been broken, is a good balance of security and convenience.
As for creating strong passwords, I have a little trick that is safe and easy to use. Plus, the passwords are easy to remember.
When most people want a memorable password, they make it too simple. The most common passwords are 123abc, 12345, password, a pet’s name or your last name. Some people use a single word like “monkey,” “Jesus” or “baseball.”
Passwords like these make a hacker’s job easy. Hackers have programs that can try hundreds of thousands of common passwords and dictionary word combinations in less than a second.