1 February 2024

To change or not to change? How to increase the security of your passwords

On 1 February, the international Change Your Password Day is a reminder of of how important strong passwords are for online security. Passwords are the key to your online accounts, so it's worth carrying out a security check every once in a while.

A strong password is one that is long and complex so that hackers cannot simply guess it or try all possible combinations: it should be at least 8 to 12 characters and contain a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters – the more characters, the better . Alternatively, you can use a very long and less complex password, such as an easy-to-remember sentence. Use a separate, unique password for each account. Using password managers makes it easier to manage and create secure passwords. The two-factor authentication option offered by many providers also provides additional security.

Should I change my passwords?

You should not change a password without specific initial suspicion, especially if it has already been created according to the security criteria mentioned. However, Change Your Password Day is a good opportunity to check the security of passwords and actually change any reused passwords. It's also a good idea to start using a password manager.

Our guides "How to browse the internet safely" and "Keep your passwords strong and secure" have further tips for keeping safe online.