If it’s anything Sony has taught us, it’s that we can never be too cautious with our online security. Online hacks are being perpetrated everyday but one way to keep the online hackers guessing is to consistently change your passwords. Keep in mind, just about anything you do online requires a password, but getting in the habit of changing your password every 3-6 months will automatically get you an upper hand to internet safety. On average, we own 6 passwords for various websites we go to each day, including email and social media. Most of the major email systems don’t require a password change every so often, but there isn’t anything that says we can’t be proactive to be cognizant of it.

Most of the online hacks, i.e. mail, Twitter, and Facebook, are relatively harmless with the perpetrators often trying to market their wares in an illegal way. It may be harmless but it can be irritating because your personal security has been breached. As you get into more serious aspects of your life: bank accounts and work emails, then the seriousness of the threat is seriously heightened. In these cases, you are generally asked to change your password every 3-9 month. Changing a password does not take much time, but it is a necessity.

The two most common passwords or password combinations in 2014 were “1234” and “Password”. Novice hackers can even figure that out. Here are three things to consider when changing your password:

1) Stay away from actual words – That’s too easy for hackers to figure out. Change it up to where you add numbers or even punctuation. Hackers may be intelligent from the hacking standpoint, but they are, on the whole, lazy. If they have to work for it, they’ll go away.

2) Stay away from personal things – Everything you post online in a public forum is fair game. The name of your cat, child, what kind of car you drive, and the brand of TV you have, have been used in a password. If you stay clear of these, and many other personal things, you have already strengthened your password.

3) Be case sensitive – Case sensitivity makes your password strong. Even being random about it will keep the hackers guessing at every turn. Some banks and financial institutes require at least two caps in your password.

With online hacks being perpetrated every day, make sure you keep a routine of changing your password every so often. A good rule of thumb is every 3 – 6 months. It’s your life and your security and you certainly don’t want anyone intruding on it. You don’t know what hackers are capable of doing; so don’t give them a chance to find out!