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Change Your Password Day

In 2012, Matt Buchanan, who at the time was writing for Gizmodo, came up with Change Your Password Day, a day for making it harder for would-be-hackers to get into accounts. He wrote about how there was a proliferation of accounts on the internet that used passwords and lamented that he had twice experienced an account getting hacked. He thought it would be a good idea if everyone changed their passwords together on the same day, and Change Your Password Day was born. He suggested upping password security by adding some symbols to new passwords and by using different root passwords for banking and email from everything else.

How to Observe

There are a few steps that can be taken to make passwords stronger when changing them today. Once one password is stolen, it can be used on other accounts that have the same password, and those other accounts are then compromised. For this reason, it is important that a unique password is used for each account. With so many passwords, they may be hard to remember. One remedy for this is to use a password manager, which auto-generates passwords and stores them in an encrypted, centralized location that you can access with a master password.

When coming up with new passwords today, make sure they are long. The longer a password is, the longer it will take for someone to hack it, whether they are attempting to do so manually or by a "brute force attack," which consists of a computer program going through combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols. Making passwords consisting of random words and phrases—not common ones—is a good idea, and mixing uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers is also a wise idea. Make sure not to use easy-to-find personal information in your passwords, such as birthdays, anniversaries, pet names, and similar types of information. Finally, never tell a password to anyone, and don't type in a password if other people are nearby and may be watching.

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