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Mar 28, 2016 4:01 PM

NH1 News Investigates: Changing computer passwords could make your information less secure

NH1 News

How many times are you required to change your passwords on your work computers?

Chances are it’s often, and it can make it hard to keep track of your latest secret code. Well, it turns out that new research shows changing passwords more often isn’t making your organization’s computer systems more secure.

“The reason is that it’s difficult to come up with a good password - it’s difficult to remember one, especially randomized passwords,” said tech consultant Craig Peterson. “So, if you’re forced to change it every 30 days, 90 days, people tend to write them down, stick it on their screen, or maybe they’ve put it into their phone in an unsecure application that is then hacked later on. Or maybe it’s just a simpler password so they can remember it.”

Peterson suggests that employers encourage employees to create stronger passwords so they can keep them longer, and issue secure password managers to keep everything running smoothly.

“Your security level will go through the roof if you do that,” Peterson said.

Peterson also recommends that you secure your personal computers and smartphones by having individual usernames and passwords for every site you use.

“When a site is compromised, one of the first things they do is they take the usernames and passwords from the site and then they try them at Bank of America, and TD Bank, etc. to see if they work."

To keep it all organized - and secure - he recommends two apps. The first one is free. It’s called LastPass. The second is 1password.

If you have a tech consumer or safety question, email Celine McArthur at cmcarthur@nh1.com, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.


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