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We’ve all been there before, being forced to change our passwords for the umpteenth time in a year. No matter how secure we make it, some companies simply don’t want to take the risk of compromised accounts. But do you really need to change your password on a regular basis?

Some cyber security experts suggest changing your passwords once every three months, but that isn’t always the case. If you secure your accounts with a simple, easy-to-remember password, then cycling out a new version every three months is ideal. But if you’re using complex passwords (which many online service providers require these days), you really don’t need to change them unless they get caught up in a cyber security threat.

That leaves us with the question, “What is considered a cyber security threat?” Some are pretty obvious, like the breach of a company’s user data, but there are others you may not even know about. Any of the following attacks on your personal information could very well put your most sensitive passwords at risk.

Virus and Malware

This is one of the oldest tricks in the hacker book, dating back to the days of AOL free-trial discs. Viruses and malware can wind up on your computer if you’ve clicked a link from an unknown source, or even from a bad actor posing as a seemingly trustworthy source. After clicking, a program is downloaded onto your system, giving the individual access to your information. In many cases, this includes your passwords, which can be recorded through keylogging, where the program records your keystrokes to determine your login info.

SMS Scams

Companies so frequently send SMS messages that it’s often easy to misconstrue a hacker’s message as a real one. If you click a suspicious link on your phone, it may lead to a website that looks legitimate but is only designed to steal your information. Alternatively, these links can be used to find vulnerabilities in your phone’s software to install malware that shares your information with hackers, so make sure your phone is always up to date.

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Though spelled with a “ph,” phishing is fairly similar to fishing in that both cast a line out in hopes of landing a catch. In the case of phishing, the line is often a fake email that ultimately asks for or tricks you into giving up your information. The emails are oftentimes professional-looking and include urgent messaging designed to get you to act. The trickiest of all, spear phishing specifically uses emails allegedly sent from family members, friends, or associates to bait you into handing over private data.

Brute Force Attacks

This is one of the hardest cyber security threats to combat, specifically because it’s happening behind the scenes without you even knowing. Typically, a brute force attack refers to when a hacker floods an account with password and username combinations, hoping to find a matching set. They can attempt trillions of combinations in a matter of seconds and are often more successful when simple passwords are involved.

Effectively Combatting Password Threats

Keeping hackers from trying to steal your information may seem nearly impossible, but there are options out there that can help you keep your accounts safe. Keeper Security is a user-friendly, consumer-level password protection service that both securely stores your login information to an unlimited number of websites and helps create strong, fool-proof passwords. It even comes with a free dark web scanner that can detect if your passwords and login information have been compromised in a data breach.

Currently available at 50% off, a Keeper Security subscription allows you to access your secure passwords from all of your devices, share passwords if needed, organize passwords, and for an added layer of security, you can also enable two-step verification. While the Keeper Unlimited plan–available for $17.49 per year–is great for single users, households or small offices can take advantage of the $37.49-per-year Keeper Family plan with five private vaults and 10GB of secure file storage.

In a time when your personal passwords are under constant threat of attack, a service like Keeper Security can minimize the aggravation of constantly having to change your passwords.

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