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Why aimlessly changing your password hardly provides better protection

Year after year, “Change your Password Day” is met with mixed reactions. Experts consider it better that you reconsider your password habits.

It was that time again on 1st February: the annual “Change your Password Day” gave its namesake recommendation once more – well-meaning, yet actually not all that helpful. The idea behind this is an old one: Regularly changing your passwords is to ensure increased security.

Today we know other criteria are far more important– as changing your password without a concrete reason doesn’t really result in anything else but effort. Instead there is a danger of watering down your existing password by aimlessly adding a number like “1” or “123” to it – something rather more detrimental to password security than beneficial, since this only increases its predictability.

It makes sense to change your password if you have been affected by a data leak. You can find out if you are affected here.

A good password should have at least 12 characters and consist of numbers, upper and lower case letters as well as special characters. It is also important not to use the same password just about everywhere, but to provide different passwords for different services every time.

Further information can be found under our “Step 4 - Protecting online access”.

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