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How To Conduct A Simple Password Test

password checkerFollowing a recent study by Bloomberg Businessweek, the importance of creating strong and memorable passwords for online accounts has again been brought to attention. With more and more people relying on the Internet to store and access increasingly private information, many wonder how to know if their passwords are safe. As a result, this post presents a summary of the above study as the basis of a simple and quick test that would reveal whether or not your password is strong enough.

Time it takes a hacker’s computer to randomly guess your password:

VERY WEAK PASSWORD

Length: 6 characters
Lowercase: 10 minutes
+ Uppercase: 10 hours
+ Nos. & Symbols: 18 days

WEAK PASSWORD

Length: 7 characters
Lowercase: 4 hours
+ Uppercase: 23 days
+ Nos. & Symbols: 4 years

STRONG PASSWORD

Length: 8 characters
Lowercase: 4 days
+ Uppercase: 3 years
+ Nos. & Symbols: 463 years

VERY STRONG PASSWORD

Length: 9 characters
Lowercase: 4 months
+ Uppercase: 178 years
+ Nos. & Symbols: 44,530 years

Data: Gartner, Forrester, Duo Security, Imperva, LastBit Software as collated by Bloomberg Businessweek

Overall, it is not only the length that matters but also the right combination of lower-case and upper-case characters, numbers and symbols. If all of this is present, you will definitely stand a better chance of making it more difficult for hackers to crack your password.

Talking Point

Do you know any other way to check the strength of a password?

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6 Comments

  1. One active user shares a big piece of privacy on internet. Access to some one’s official & personal account means to enter in his personal life and get every thing you want. Merge of upper case, numbers and symbols makes password thats all i know.

  2. Thanks for this post. We have often heard the advice to use uppercase and lowercase and numbers and symbols on our passwords, but putting it this way, with the time it takes to crack a 9-character upper-and-lowercase number-symbol-character password versus a 6-character lowercase-only password really drives home the point! My question now is, would it be all right to use the same password for all my accounts, considering that this single super-password would take 44,530 years to hack?

  3. When it comes to passwords I agree that we should look at using mixed case, numbers and symbols. However, the length of the password is the most important element in determining the strength of a password. A 15 character password that is comprised of only lower case letters is much harder to crack than a 8 character password that uses mixed case, numbers and symbols (26^15 versus 94^8).

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