Is Your Password HackMe?

In following up on our last blog piece, we’ve been asked more than a few times what makes for a good password?

Your password needs to be of the highest security. A few do’s and do not’s when creating a password:

Don’t:
– Ever use your birthday or that of a close family member (e.g. 04012010).
– Ever create a name that reflects an interest you have (e.g. NCC1701).
– Ever use a word that can be found in the dictionary (e.g. dictionary).
– Repeat characters in a sequence (i.e. 444ggg)

Do:
– Whenever possible, use special characters (e.g. $, %, #)
– Include at least one number and at least one capital letter (e.g.. 4Bz …. )
– Replace letters with numbers. (e.g. flirt becomes fl1r7)
– Take a sentence then reduce it to first letters of each word (e.g. “Whatever I do for you is for me” becomes wId4yifm)

Microsoft has some excellent suggestions in creating good passwords:

– If possible, use at least 14 characters or more.
– The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better.
– Use the entire keyboard, not just the letters and characters you use or see most often.
Create strong passwords

Don’t know if your password is secure or strong enough, try Microsoft’s secure password checker here.
(Note, according to the web site “This password checker does not collect, store, or transmit information.”)

Or, you can try The Password Meter.

Special programs do exist to crack passwords. It is not that difficult if you use a simple, easy to remember password. And the simpler the password, the faster that hacker can get into your accounts:

Password Length All Characters Only Lowercase
3 characters
4 characters
5 characters
6 characters
7 characters

8 characters
9 characters
10 characters
11 characters
12 characters
13 characters

14 characters

0.86 seconds
1.36 minutes
2.15 hours
8.51 days
2.21 years

2.10 centuries
20 millennia
1,899 millennia
180,365 millennia
17,184,705 millennia
1,627,797,068 millennia

154,640,721,434 millennia

0.02 seconds
.046 seconds
11.9 seconds
5.15 minutes
2.23 hours

2.42 days
2.07 months
4.48 years
1.16 centuries
3.03 millennia
78.7 millennia

2,046 millennia

Source: How I’d Hack Your Weak Passwords

“According to a new analysis, one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like ‘abc123,’ ‘iloveyou’ or even ‘password’ to protect their data.” – If Your Password Is 123456, Just Make It HackMe

Hack me? Hack you, pal. Use a password that protects!

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