Changing Passwords for Personal Devices and Accounts
If you have any devices or accounts that are protected by passwords, you know that you have personal information that needs to be protected. Even if it is simply for email, or as important to your privacy as securing wireless network access points from intruders, passwords provide important first line of security measures to ensure that you and your information stay safe. Devices are often safeguarded by passwords as well to prevent changes to hardware and compromising systems. Changing a password ensures that your old password does not have a chance to be guessed and provides fresh protection from hackers and unauthorized individuals.
The Importance of Changing Your Passwords
Passwords are strings of characters, usually alphanumeric and special characters, used to allow certain individuals (users, administrators, login handles) access to restricted levels of the password protected medium. Only if the individual knows the proper password and login handle can they be granted unrestricted access to the level of access allowed for such a user. Password protection can be applied to almost anything and is used in many more emerging technologies.
Generating a Strong Password
No matter what the application or mode of usage for your passwords, such as hardware/software security or default account passwords, you will want to ensure that the passwords are tough to crack against any type of intruder. There are many measures you can take towards creating a secure password for authentication which makes it much more difficult to gain access to restricted materials and network resources.
Usually, you will want your passwords to be easy to remember, but random enough that someone who simply guesses words or numbers such as birthdays and anniversaries cannot gain access easily. The best way to go about this is to include an even mixture of uppercase, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters such as dollar signs or other random characters that would be impossible to simply guess. It is also recommended that you use the maximum amount of characters allowed for the password to ensure that it is as difficult as possible to guess or systematically force access into through random password generating software and devices.
It is best to use passwords that are not found in dictionaries and to vary it more than attaching some special characters to it. The best passwords possible are random strings of characters and numbers that do not make any sense at all. These passwords may be too difficult to remember for most people but they are the best line of defense that any normal person could have at their disposal.
Frequency of Change and Reuse of Previous Passwords
It may be best to have a set schedule that you follow to change your passwords and generate unique and different passwords to allow better protection. Frequent changes are great, but reusing the same password within a 12 month period is not recommended. If you must reuse the same password, then make sure that at least 6 months have gone by since you used that password to ensure access to your accounts is least likely done by people who knew your password but have since then forgotten it.
Keeping Your Passwords Secret
If you have your password easily available to others, or not well hidden, you can compromise your private data and access to your important accounts. You either need to keep passwords to yourself in your own mind or create reminders of what the password is that will not completely give the password away to people who know your personal history or knowledge about your life. Password management software is available for most computer systems that can help you keep your passwords safe and easily accessible to you if you make especially strong passwords that are difficult to remember.
Resetting Passwords When Loss of Access Occurs
In the event that you forget your passwords or lose access to wherever you keep your passwords available through any situation you may need to reset or change your password before you regain access to your accounts. There are many systems that may or may not be available for use to you when you need to reset and enter a new password. The most common system will require you to answer security questions to reset your password or allow an email to be sent to your email address to reset the password. The most secure password systems do not allow this type of password change requests through the simple interface and may require more extensive methods such as getting a hold of support representatives and providing proof of identity before access to resetting a password is allowed.
Proper Contact of Support for Password Recovery
You will need to contact a support system by either email or phone to gain access to password recovery for some accounts and devices. Make sure that you get the official support contact details from user manuals or through the website of your account services before you send any information out. You do not want to disclose personal information with someone that is not part of the recovery process. You will need to also ask what the proper procedure is and provide account details to verify that you are the actual account holder/owner. Once you provide everything they need in terms of verification information, you will then be given options to restore access to accounts/devices. It may be in the form of instructions or master passwords generated to help you for the one instance. Depending on what kind of password recovery options you are given, you may simply be provided with a link to change password details for accounts associated with online services.
If there are no options available for account or device password recovery when you cannot change your password normally, then you may lose access to such devices and accounts permanently. It is important to always set up secondary password access for any service that allows it. This prevents the permanent loss of account services and provides you with increased security options.