How long has it been since you’ve changed your Facebook password? Once upon a time, it was common practice to pick one password to use for everything. Furthermore, the majority of us never changed them unless we had to. Thankfully, the password process has been altered in order to make our online experience more secure. If you’ve never changed your Facebook password and think it might be too late to try, it’s not. It’s also an easy, pain-free way of staying secure. Let’s take a look at how to do it.
In October 2018, Facebook went on the record in saying that its security team discovered an issue that was to affect more than 50 million users. Hackers breached Facebook's privacy protocols which led them to gain access to millions of accounts. In response, Facebook's advice was that everyone changes their passwords and turn on two-factor authentication. Many did, but it was also yet another blow to the social media giant whose userbase is around 2.32 billion active monthly users.
Despite what we might think we know, some of the information we use for our passwords isn’t all that difficult to guess. A hacker doesn’t need to know us to know our birth date or best friend’s name. Even our favorite words or song lyrics aren’t safe; not when malicious users can use programs to randomly generate words and phrases. Examples of information that can constitute a bad password include your birthday, license plate or social security number, or a random word you’ve flipped to in the dictionary. Using a common password simply because it’s easy to remember will also get you nowhere as far as security goes.
Having a strong password that is both memorable and difficult to guess is the key to having a good password. Many services now require at least one special character or upper case letter before they’ll even accept it as a password. This is good as the more symbols you have in your password, the harder it is for hackers (and their programs) to guess. It also means that you can still have a memorable word or phrase as your password by simply substituting letters for numbers and/or symbols. For example, if you’re a fan of Fortnite, instead of ‘Fortnite101’, you could opt for ‘F0rtn1t3!)!’. Same password, impossible to hack.
No matter how much you trust your friends, family, or significant other, you should never share your password. Sharing your password can be an innocent way of giving trust to someone, but it can also be misguided. Furthermore, you should never write your passwords down in a place where anyone will be able to see them. The possible outcomes simply are not worth it.
Tech giants have cordoned on to the fact that cybersecurity is a growing issue on the web. Although security has always been important, the bigger the Internet becomes and the more widely used it is, the more dangerous it becomes. Password managers are a great way of circumventing any malicious activity. Not only do they store all of your passwords in one safe location, but they can also generate new and strong passwords for you to use. All of these passwords are then able to be accessed with the use of one master password, meaning you don’t have to remember all of those random numbers and letters. Some password managers we recommend are LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane.
Any time is as good a time as any to change your Facebook password. Even if you were prompted to change it in October, it's never a bad idea to change it again. Additionally, as difficult as Facebook's interface often seems to make things, it's actually super easy to do. We swear!
This will open up the General Account Settings page. As you’ll see once you’re there, this is the hub for almost everything Facebook. This is where settings such as your location and privacy are hiding - and probably other things you didn’t know existed.
Once you’ve clicked ‘Change Password’, three boxes should appear reading ‘Current’, ‘New’, and ‘Re-type new’. Although it goes without saying, this is where you’ll insert your past and future passwords.
If you’re using a password manager such as LastPass, it should recommend a password to you. However, if you do want to make up one of your own, you still can.
That new Facebook password looks good on you. Not only that but if you’ve also opted for a stronger, unique password or a password-manager-generated one, you’re free of the worry of your privacy being breached. So many of us still use Facebook, and there’s no reason we should stop using it because of security breaches. Instead, all we need to do is protect ourselves. And that is what a password is for.