I hate passwords.
Internet services are always prompting me to change passwords, or setting different constraints on what characters my password need to contain. There are only so many strong passwords I can remember at the same time, and remembering which password goes with which service can also be a problem. However, internet services are getting hacked all the time, meaning your passwords are at risk of getting into the wrong hands. So good password discipline is important.
There are plenty of tips out there on how to better manage your passwords, from using one password for everything but regularly changing it, to using long sentences as passwords that are easy to remember but hard to hack.
But your own good password practice may not be enough to protect you. We all rely on internet services to make sure their security is watertight. And to some extent we are also reliant on each other - users who have never changed their password may be handing hackers the key to breaking encrypted password files.
So should we still use passwords at all? Maybe technology can come to the rescue of our memory, with our bio-markers, location data and habits that get scooped up into 'big data' warehouses being a more reliable proof of identity. On the other hand that might just mean more vulnerable information to be hacked.
Based on our threat monitoring and the way we secure passwords, we don't believe that any accounts have been improperly accessed. Still, as one of many precautions, we’re requiring anyone who hasn’t changed their password since mid-2012 to update it the next time they sign in.