Changing your passcode regularly is an important part of maintaining your security. Your passcode helps protect the sensitive information and accounts on your devices. Here are some quick tips on how to change your passcode on common devices and accounts.
Changing Your iPhone Passcode
To change your iPhone passcode, follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap on “Face ID & Passcode” (iPhones with Face ID) or “Touch ID & Passcode” (iPhones with Touch ID).
- Enter your current passcode.
- Tap on “Change Passcode.”
- Enter your new passcode and re-enter it to confirm.
Your iPhone passcode can be 4-6 digits or a custom alphanumeric code. Make sure your new passcode is not too similar to previous codes and is memorable to you but difficult for others to guess.
Changing Your Android Passcode
To change your passcode on an Android device, follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Security & Location > Screen lock.
- Enter your current passcode.
- Tap the type of lock screen security you want to use (PIN, password, or pattern).
- Enter and confirm your new passcode.
Android passcodes can be 4-16 digits for a PIN, 4-10 characters for a password, or a custom pattern. Make your new passcode unique and secure.
Changing Your Windows Password
Here is how you can change your account password on a Windows PC:
- Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to open the Windows Security screen.
- Select “Change a password.”
- Enter your current password and new password into the fields.
- Click “Change Password.”
Your new Windows password should have at least 8 characters, combining upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not use common words or phrases.
Changing Your Mac Login Password
Follow these instructions to change your login password on a Mac:
- Click on the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
- Click “Users & Groups.”
- Select your user account and click the Change Password button.
- Enter your current password if prompted.
- Type in your new password twice to confirm.
Make your new Mac password something you’ll remember but isn’t obvious or doesn’t contain dictionary words. You can opt to use your Apple ID password for convenience.
Changing Your Wi-Fi Password
To change the password to access your Wi-Fi network, you will need to access your router’s admin settings. Here are the general steps:
- Log into your router’s admin page by typing its IP address into your browser (usually 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1).
- Enter your current Wi-Fi password if prompted.
- Find the section for “Wireless Settings” or “Network Settings.”
- Look for the field to change your network’s SSID password.
- Type in a new password and save the changes.
Your new Wi-Fi password should be 8-12 characters long, using letters, numbers, and special characters for better security.
Changing Your Email Account Password
To update the password for your email account, follow the below instructions:
- Go to the website of your email provider (Gmail, Yahoo, etc).
- Click on the option to change or reset your password (often under “Account Settings”).
- Enter your current password if required.
- Type your new email password and confirm it.
- Click save to update your email password.
Your email password should be distinct from passwords for other accounts. Use a mix of different characters and minimum of 8 characters.
Changing Your Social Media Account Passwords
Here are the steps to change your password for popular social media platforms:
- Go to your Facebook account Settings.
- Click on the Security and Login menu.
- Select Change Password.
- Enter your current password, new password, and confirm.
- Click Save Changes.
- Tap your profile picture in the bottom right.
- Go to Settings > Security > Password.
- Enter your current password and new password.
- Tap Change Password.
- Go to your Twitter account settings.
- Select Password under Account.
- Enter your current Twitter password.
- Type your new password and confirm.
- Click Save changes.
Your social media passwords should be strong and different from your other accounts. Use a password manager if needed.
Changing Your Online Banking Passwords
To change online banking passwords, follow these steps:
- Log into your bank’s website.
- Locate account security or password change options.
- Select to change your password or PIN.
- Enter your current login credentials if required.
- Type a new, secure password.
- Confirm the new password.
Online banking passwords should be very secure, with a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not reuse passwords.
Changing Your Other Account Passwords
In general, to change your password for any online account, follow these steps:
- Log into the website or service.
- Find account or security options in Settings.
- Look for “Change Password” or “Reset Password.”
- Enter your current and new password information.
- Save the new password.
Some best practices for new passwords:
- Minimum 8 characters long.
- Mix of upper and lowercase letters.
- Include numbers and symbols.
- Don’t use personal information.
- Don’t reuse passwords across accounts.
How Often Should I Change My Passwords?
Cybersecurity experts generally recommend changing your important account passwords every 60-90 days. Some recommendations include:
|Account Type||How Often to Change Password|
|Every 60-90 days|
|Online banking||Every 60 days|
|Social media||Every 90 days|
|Wi-Fi||Every 90 days|
|Work accounts||Every 30-90 days per company policy|
However, regularly changing passwords is only one part of good security. Using strong, unique passwords for each account, enabling two-factor authentication, and monitoring for suspicious activity are also essential best practices.
What Makes a Strong Password?
Here are some criteria for creating secure passwords:
- At least 8 characters long (12+ is better).
- Mix of lowercase and uppercase letters.
- Includes numbers.
- Uses symbols such as ! # $ % & ?
- Doesn’t contain personal info like name or birthdate.
- Isn’t a dictionary word or common phrase.
- Is unique for each account, without reuse.
- Can be remembered without writing down.
Passphrases using a series of words can also make strong memorable passwords. Consider using a password manager app to generate and store secure passwords.
What If I Forget My New Passcode?
If you forget your device passcode, here are some tips to regain access:
- iPhone – You will need to erase your device entirely and recover from a backup. Contact Apple Support if needed.
- Android – Try rebooting your device. If that doesn’t work, you may need to perform a factory reset.
- Windows – Use password recovery options or reset your password from a Microsoft account.
- Mac – Reset your password with Apple ID through System Recovery or another admin user.
For online accounts, use the password reset option to reset your password via email or phone verification. Set up backup verification methods in case you forget passwords.
Should I Use a Password Manager?
Password managers provide a very convenient and secure way to store all your login credentials. Some benefits include:
- Generates strong random passwords for each account.
- Encrypts your password database for security.
- Automatically logs you into accounts.
- Syncs across all your devices.
- Provides password autofill when logging in.
Popular password managers include Dashlane, LastPass, 1Password, and built-in options like Apple Keychain. Use a master password to securely access your manager.
How Can I Remember All My New Passwords?
Tips for remembering different accounts’ passwords include:
- Using password managers like Dashlane to store passwords securely.
- Creating passphrases by combining words to make a story.
- Using mnemonic devices or associations to remember passwords.
- Utilizing patterns on your keyboard as part of the password.
- Storing written password hints separately from your devices.
- Resetting your password if you cannot recall the new one.
The most secure passwords use combinations of lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and symbols that have no meaning to you. But simple tricks can help boost memorability.
Should I Change All My Passwords When One Gets Compromised?
If one of your passwords appears to be compromised, cybersecurity experts recommend:
- Immediately changing the breached password, and any other accounts using that same password.
- Enabling stronger login security like multi-factor authentication.
- Monitoring your accounts for any suspicious activity.
- Considering changing other account passwords if the breach seems extensive.
- Using a password manager to ensure all passwords are strong and unique.
Reusing passwords across multiple accounts makes a breach much more dangerous. Take the opportunity to strengthen all your passwords when any credential could be compromised.
Regularly changing your passwords, especially for important accounts, can help protect your security online. Make sure your new passwords are strong, unique, and stored safely using a password manager if needed. Enabling two-factor authentication also adds an extra layer of protection on top of better passwords.
Changing passwords requires some extra diligence, but is a fundamental best practice for anyone seeking to enhance their cybersecurity in the digital age. Combine good password hygiene with awareness of phishing attempts, device encryption, security software, and safe browsing habits for full protection.