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Someone Knows My Password. What now?

It can happen that someone finds out your password. For example, you may have written your password in your diary that you lost. Or you have your password on your phone and it has been stolen. It could also be that you shared your password with someone and you no longer want that person to use your password.

Change Your Password and Handle It Safely

If you think someone else knows your password, immediately change your password and handle it safely. This can prevent others from logging in and gaining access to your personal data and files as much as possible. Did you click on a suspicious link? If so, change your password on a different computer.

‘Forgot Password’ Option

On most websites where you log in, you can set a new password by clicking on the ‘Forgot Password?’ option. After entering your email address or username, you will receive a link via email. When you click on it, you can set a new password.

Strong Password

It is very important to come up with a strong password. This is a password that is not guessable and hard to crack by a computer:

  • Never use obvious words or sequences, such as the name of your partner or children, sequences like 12345 or qwerty, welcome01, or one existing word from the dictionary.
  • Make a password of at least 12 characters, and the longer the better.

Safe Handling of Your Password

Ensure a secure computer, smartphone, or tablet, and use the following tips.

  • Do not share your password with anyone.
  • Do not let anyone watch as you type your password.
  • Use different passwords for different services.
  • Change your passwords.
  • Do not leave your password lying around near your computer, on your desk, or in your agenda.
  • Do not store your passwords unsecured on your computer. Encrypt the file or use a password manager.
  • Do not leave your passwords in the email.
  • Never give your password to companies that ask for it.
  • Change your password if a website is hacked.

More suggestions

Regularly Update Your Passwords

Even if you haven’t noticed any suspicious activity, it’s a good practice to change your passwords periodically. This habit reduces the risk of unauthorized access over time.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Whenever available, activate two-factor authentication. This adds an extra layer of security, as accessing your account will require both your password and a second factor, like a text message or an authentication app.

Monitor Your Accounts

Regularly check your accounts for any unusual activity. If you notice anything strange, change your password immediately and alert the service provider.

Use a Password Manager

Consider using a reliable password manager. These tools not only store your passwords securely but also help in generating strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts.

Be Wary of Phishing Attempts

Be cautious about emails or messages asking for your personal information. Always verify the source before clicking on any links or providing any details.

Update Your Security Questions

Make sure your security questions are not easily guessable. Choose questions and answers that are hard for others to find or guess.

Educate Yourself About Cybersecurity

Stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and best practices. Knowledge is a powerful tool in protecting your digital presence.

Report Thefts and Security Breaches

If you suspect that your password has been stolen, report it to the relevant authorities or the security team of the affected service. Prompt action can prevent further damage.
Remember, staying vigilant and proactive about your password security is key to protecting your personal and sensitive information.
Reference Notes:

You may already be aware of my collaboration with the Dutch government and their endorsement of my Information Security PubQuiz. If not, you can read about it here. Regrettably, the government education site that underpins part of my PubQuizzes is not available in English. Therefore, I’ve translated the articles from “” and “” and you can read them on my site. The original source for this article, in Dutch, can be found here.