How Long Would It Take To Crack Your Password?

Think about your strongest password. Does it contain more than one non-numeric symbol? How many characters long is it? Most important: can you REMEMBER your strongest password (without writing it down on a sticky note stuck to the corner of your PC screen)?

Protecting your online information and computer can easily boil down to having a strong enough password. What, then, makes a password strong? Password strength is a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols you use, or about meeting the minimum or maximum character length. Really, a strong password is a long password.

Frequently Changing Your Password Does Not = Higher Security

It was previously common practice to alternate between new passwords to make it difficult for hackers and identity thieves to guess. Today, when users are sometimes required to have upwards of 20+ passwords across all their various personal and professional logins, the practice has become difficult.
When most people are encouraged to routinely change their passwords, they fall back on easy-to-guess phrases and generally bad passwords just so they can remember them. If they do manage to come up with a strong password, they write it down so they don’t forget—and leave it where others can find it!

How To Choose A Strong Password

Strong passwords should be hard for others to crack, let alone randomly guess. A long password—a lengthy string of numbers, letters, and symbols that you can remember easily—is ideal. Using mnemonics and acronyms are useful for creating unique, memorable passwords.
For instance, you could pick a phrase and use the first letter of each word, then substitute letters or words for corresponding numbers and symbols (& or + for and, @ for at, 3 for E, etc). An example could be: “I’m glad I called EZSolution because they saved my website and business” would turn into “ig1c3zsbtsmw&b”. It’s long enough and as long as you remember the phrase, you’ll remember the password.
If you want to test out your own super strong password, visit Passfault. You can use their site to see how long it would take to crack any given password and how many passwords are in that pattern. The example password we provided would take 110 years to crack!
The stronger your password, the less likely you’ll need to change it. Your goal should be to create a password that is long, unique, and memorable.

Keep Tabs On All Of Your Passwords

password safe

A strong password is a start, but you should never use the same password on multiple websites. The password for your email shouldn’t be the same as your bank or twitter password. Same goes for your work passwords. Give hackers as few opportunities to crack your password by establishing a unique password for each login you have.

If you’re having a hard time remembering all of your good passwords consider a “password management solution”. These tools provide users a method of keeping track of their passwords in a secure location. The most popular tools include Roboform, KeePass, and AnyPassword. By using a password management solution, you’ll only need to remember that password—and once you access the tool you can view your stored passwords, making such tools a much safer method of recording your strongest passwords.

The Lesson Learned

How long your password takes to crack is really up to you.
You want to make your password the equivalent of a tldr; thread on reddit (too long, didn’t read for you non-redditers out there). By making your password longer and incorporating symbol and numeric substitutions, you’re making it harder to crack.
In conclusion, when it comes to passwords, size does matter; and if you plan to keep your work documents and personal photos secure, rethink how you design each password. It is possible to make it easy to remember and strong, not just one or the other. We want you to keep your information secure at work and at home.