Want some security advice? Don’t reset your passwords too often

keeper most common passwords 2016 worst 2015
Setting your password as “password” has long been dinged as a sure-fire way to invite trouble when it comes to your digital privacy. And obviously, if you’re using the same password for everything on the Internet, you may be in trouble. But while security firms have long discussed the common pitfalls of online security, another practice that may seem solid in theory is now being warned against as well. On Thursday, in observance of World Password Day, the U.K. government urged its citizens not to change their passwords too frequently, claiming that this practice is actually more harmful than it is helpful.

“In 2015, we explicitly advised against it [changing passwords],” British intelligence and security organization GCHQ’s Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) wrote recently. “This article explains why we made this (for many) unexpected recommendation, and why we think it’s the right way forward.”

So what’s the issue with constantly changing things up? According to the organization’s 16-page report, repeatedly resetting your codes “doesn’t take into account the inconvenience to users.” A secure password, CESG notes, should be both long and random, which makes them fundamentally difficult to remember. And while you can create and remember a few long and random strings, it’s hard to do this for dozens of passwords. “When forced to change [a password], the chances are that the new password will be similar to the old one,” security experts warn. “Attackers can exploit this weakness.”

CESG also notes that frequent change can be rather counterproductive — in order to remember new strings, users may end up writing them down or storing them in other unsafe ways. There’s also the stronger possibility of forgetting the new password and being locked out of an account, forcing users to find a new password yet again.

“It’s one of those counter-intuitive security scenarios; the more often users are forced to change passwords, the greater the overall vulnerability to attack,” CESG concludes. “What appeared to be a perfectly sensible, long-established piece of advice doesn’t, it turns out, stand up to a rigorous, whole-system analysis.”

Computing

Russian hackers behind ‘world’s most murderous malware’ probing U.S. power grid

A hacking group linked to the Russian government has attempted to breach the U.S. power grid. Security experts tracked the hackers, and warn that they were probing the grid for weaknesses.
Mobile

Your smartphone knows all your secrets. Put it on lockdown with these tips

Having your smartphone hacked can feel like someone robbed your house. It's a massive invasion of privacy and a violation of your personal space. We've put together a checklist of precautions that will help you avoid this terrible fate.
Mobile

You can now use an Android phone to log in to Google on an iOS device

Google announced that its Android security feature is expanding. You will now be able to use your Android phone to log int o your Google account on an iOS device. That's great news for those that have an Android phone and an iPad.
Mobile

Master your Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with our favorite tips and tricks

Manage to get your hands on the gorgeous Samsung Galaxy Note 9? You've probably noticed there are a lot of nice new changes. Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks to get you started with your new Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Deals

Walmart cuts $300 off Dell Inspiron 5680 gaming desktop for gamers on a budget

If you're stashing money but want an upgradeable rig that will go a long way, then this solid deal on the Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop 5680 with Intel Core i5-8400 is for you. It is now available for only $700 at Walmart.
Computing

Genius uses 19th-century tech to prove Google copied its song lyrics

Song lyrics website Genius says that it proved that Google has been copying its lyrics and posting them on its own search results page. And Genius says it was able to do it by using a decidedly old-school form communications tech.
Computing

Facebook’s crypto isn’t a new Bitcoin, it’s Disney Dollars for a new world order

Facebook has already secured tens of millions in investments for its new cryptocurrency for Facebook known as Libra. The platform is still being developed, but has already brought in backing from Visa, Mastercard and PayPal.
Deals

Check out Walmart’s steep discounts on Dell and LG gaming monitors

If you're a gamer looking for high-quality computer displays, you definitely need to take advantage of this deals from Dell and LG. These gaming monitors will fit your budget and your GPU.
Computing

A Surface Pen with an OLED touchscreen would actually be awesome

Microsoft patented another Surface Pen hardware feature, this time registering a patent for an OLED touch bar strip on the Surface accessory. This could enable dynamic setting change functionality in the next generation of Surface Pens.
Deals

Save $220 on a 2019 MacBook Pro with the latest Intel processor on Amazon

Interested customers can now grab a 2019 MacBook Pro with the latest Intel Core processor at a $220 discount on Amazon. This discounted MacBook Pro also features 512GB of SSD storage, a 15-inch Retina display, and a Touch bar.
Deals

You can grab the 2017 12-inch MacBook for $300 off right now, but act quickly

Despite the growing market for Windows ultrabooks, a MacBook is still what you need if you love the sleek interface of MacOS. The 2017 MacBook is on sale right now, too, but stock is limited, so act quickly before it's gone.
Computing

Apple's Mac Mini and MacBook Air are both great, but which is better?

Torn between the portability of a laptop and the power of a desktop? You aren't the only one. Apple offers great examples of both, with great unique and shared features for each. If we pit the Mac Mini vs. MacBook Air, which do you think…
Computing

PowerPoint is easier than ever with Microsoft’s new A.I. tools

Microsoft's new A.I. tools for Office 365 users make mastering PowerPoint presentations easier than ever. The tools help you create stunning layouts, deliver data with impact, and brush up your delivery skills with smart coaching.
Computing

Google Calendar is back online. Here’s the latest on the outage

Google Calendar is down, and that means that instead of a day packed with back-to-back meetings and timely reminders, users are instead being treated to an error message. Here's the latest on the worldwide outage.