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Security & privacy

Use this chart to see how long it’ll take to crack your passwords

It’s critical that you create the strongest possible passwords for services and websites. But how many actually take the time to craft crack-proof details?

It seems the rules for creating the best passwords are always changing. It’s no longer safe to just have a mix of letters and numbers. Tap or click here for five new rules for creating the best passwords.

With your current passwords in mind, how long do you think it would take a hacker to crack them? Keep reading for a tool that will show you just how strong your passwords are. You’ll probably be shocked to find out how simple they are to crack.

Here’s the backstory

On average, it takes a hacker about two seconds to crack an 11-character password that uses only numbers. Throw in some upper- and lower-case letters, and it will take a hacker one minute to hack into a seven-character password.

Hive Systems developed a handy chart to illustrate the time it takes for a hacker to brute force your password. A brute force attack on your login details is when cybercriminals use trial-and-error to guess your details.

Passwords cracked time

Cybercriminals use sophisticated software that can run thousands of password combinations a minute, and their tools are only getting better. A general rule is that your password should be at least 11 characters and use numbers, along with upper and lowercase letters. That combination will take hackers 41 years to crack.

But what about passwords that use the full gamut of password creation? If your password comprises numbers, upper and lowercase letters and symbols, it will take a hacker 34,000 years to crack – if it’s 12 characters long.

According to the tool, the shorter your password, the easier it is guessed. Even if you use all the possible variations. Use eight characters and it will be cracked in hours. Seven characters will be breached in minutes, and six or fewer characters will take mere seconds.

How do you make passwords stronger?

As the chart indicates, to prevent a successful brute force attack on your password, you should have at least 10 characters that use the full range of options. Anything shorter than that, and it will only take a few days to crack.

If you are unsure whether your passwords are strong enough, check out the How Secure Is My Password? tool. By putting in some of your passwords, the system will tell you how long it will take a hacker to crack.

The site will also provide you with helpful tips on making your password stronger and suggest various security measures to implement.

Another great way to secure your accounts is to use a password manager that creates and stores all your passwords for you. You only have to remember the master password, and you should have no problems in the future.

When it comes to a password manager that you can trust, we recommend our sponsor, Roboform. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS and Android with support for all their respective browsers, including Microsoft Edge.

Save 50% on RoboForm Everywhere and manage your passwords with ease and security when you use discount code KIM50 at checkout!

Wondering if your password has been cracked or exposed to the Dark Web before? The amazing HaveIBeenPwned website can answer that question for you.

Keep reading

That email you got about resetting your password is real – Do it ASAP

Check this list: 3.2 billion leaked usernames and passwords

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