While many of us have been told to constantly update our passwords, a Britain security service now claims the otherwise is way safer to keep online data away from hackers.
Contrary to previous notions, the Communications-Electronics Security Group, GCHQ's cyber security department, now suggests that instead of frequently changing passwords, people should now obtain a safe and strong password and stick with it.
According to the spy agency, frequent change of passwords usually ends up to formulating a new password close to the old one. In addition, people tend to scribble or jot their new passwords down in fear they might eventually forget about it. Although the actions seem harmless, these pose risks of getting the passwords into the wrong hands, Mirror reported.
"Attackers can exploit this weakness," the Communications-Electronics Security Group said. "The new password may have been used elsewhere, and attackers can exploit this too."
So unless your passwords are easy to decode, such as ABC123, 123456, and qwerty, the agency recommends to hold on to them, security experts told The Sun.
It is also equally important to remind and update users when they last activated their respective accounts. Furthermore, organizations are encouraged to refrain from enforcing regular password expiry.
The news follows after a young Russian hacker, calling himself "The Collector," managed to amass more than 272 million accounts. The breach included accounts from major e-mail service providers like Yahoomail, Google's Gmail, Microsoft's Hotmail, among others.
Meanwhile, a separate study also found that one in every three Brits secretly knows his or her partner's password, the Mirror reported. When asked how they knew about it, more than half (59 percent) of the 2,211 participants said they learned from merely guessing it. Around 37 percent admitted keyboard watching, while the remaining 4 percent is from their partner's close friends.
Experts suggest that people should securely generate and keep unique passwords for each online account. A strong password should be composed of a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, the Express advised.