Most people assume they have strong passwords; however, the majority of users do not fully understand how easy it can be for hackers to break them. The main issue is that the more we are online, the more we tend to use the same passwords for multiple sites.
Once there is one breach, then it doesn’t take too long for hackers to find where these are used and gain access to those areas as well. (Read How to stay safe online)
Creating a complex password can make all the difference to being secure or having your identity stolen. Here, you can learn how long would it take to crack my password. This guide can help you make better decisions to thwart off an attack off anyone who tries to crack your password.
How is My Password Secure?
With passwords, there is more to it than just length. While size does matter, if there is little variation in the characters and password complexity, then a brute force attack can take far less time than you think.
Hackers may run a brute force attack for days, months, or years if there is potential to crack a password.
Here is a rough guide of the length of time it would take to crack passwords:
- 7 characters – ‘abcdefg’ – less than a second
- 8 characters – ‘abcdefgh’ – 4 – 5 hours
- 9 characters – ‘abcdefghi’ – 5 days
- 10 characters – ‘abcdefghij’ – 4 months
- 11 characters – ‘abcdefghijk’ – 10 years
- 12 characters – ‘abcdefghijkl’ – 200 years
Adding another character to your password boosts the security exponentially. In what we call a “dictionary attack,” a password cracker utilizes word lists of common passwords. Running through these comes up with results more often than you may think.
You can see from the above list of the difference adding characters makes for your security.
For illustration, if you have an exceedingly easy and common password, which is seven characters in length (‘abcdefg’), a professional can crack this in under a second. By adding the extra character, you can increase the time to several hours, and so on, as you can see.
It may feel awkward using passwords this long, yet you can see it does put you in good stead to stay safe.
How Strong is My Password?
Combining numbers and letters rather than sticking with one type of character dramatically enhances password security. A string of nine letters or numbers takes milliseconds to crack. Add a single letter, and your password may become cryptic enough to thwart password crackers for decades.
You may be under the impression that swapping ‘e’ for ‘3’ or adding a number to the end of your letters is sufficient. However, password attack techniques are taking advantage of such standard practices. Instead, it’s essential to keep your password less predictable and more complex.
A combination of multiple character types is a highly effective way of making passwords more cryptic. Simple, everyday words can be decrypted in fractions of one millisecond. Add a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols such as @, %, and #. You can easily make your passwords strong enough to last a decade.
However, not every security problem relates to the types and length of characters in your passwords; you may be unaware of how much influence time has.
As time passes, passwords become weaker with advances in technology. Besides, hackers are more adept at what they are doing, and they have massive lists of reference passwords they can use.
For instance, any password, which would take over a few years to break in 2000, may take slightly more than a year to crack in 2004. In five further years, cracking time drops to four months. By today’s standards, the same password may be decoded in a month or so.
You can see how important it is to change your passwords frequently. (Read Internet Safety for Seniors)
Is My Password Safe?
A hacker has the tools to use a password checker than can run through hundreds of thousands of strong passwords per second. As we see, it can take a month or so to crack ten-character passwords if they don’t contain special characters and lowercase letters in the mix of numbers and upper case characters.
There is no way you can stop a brute force attack trying to crack your password, even if it would take years. Hackers will leave machines running for brute force password cracking in the same manner as miners do for cryptocurrency.
One way you can check to see if you have a strong password is to use an online password check, such as the one provided by ‘LastPass.’ They provide a password manager that can help keep things simple for your online passwords.
Using their site to check password strength, you not only see your password strength, yet you can also see the difference it will make with a 12 character password and adding special characters, compared to an eight-character password.
You also have another option to tighten up your password security, and that is to use a VPN service. A VPN will take your 12 character passwords and encrypt this using military-grade encryption.
It can make the job of hackers much harder, as breaking this encryption can take much longer than hacking a password.
VPNs offer all-round security, it is advisable to make full use of these when online, and you need to keep sensitive data private, secure, and out of sight.