HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - When was the last time you changed your passwords? Months… years… never? If you said yes to any of those questions, now is definitely the time to change your passwords and protect your personal information.
If you're like most others, you have so many passwords to keep up with because you have so many accounts: social media, personal and work emails, accounts that you pay online and more.
It is recommended that we have different passwords for every account. It can be overwhelming to try keeping track of what password goes with what account, especially when you are encouraged not to write your passwords down!
"It's best to change your password at least every three to six months if possible," advised the Better Business Bureau's Michele Mason.
A lot of people don't think to do that, but Mason said it's a good rule of thumb. And if you do write down your password…
"Don't use something like '12345678.' A recent survey found the most common passwords were a series of numbers or phrases like 'ILoveYou,' or very common words and numbers," said Mason.
Your best bet when it comes to picking a password is to mix it up. Pick passwords that have a mix of numbers and letters and symbols if possible.
"One example is if you have a favorite quote – maybe it's a book quote or a movie quote – pick the first letter from every word and make that your password. It's going to mix up words that people are going to have a hard time guessing," said Mason.
Many times, someone may have hacked into your account and you don't even realize it. They may sell your information to another country, which is probably why we are seeing so many scams coming from other countries.
It may be months before your information is used, so if you don't change your password, you are allowing that information to be used. If you change your password regularly, then hopefully by the time they try to use it, they no longer have access to your account.