Do you realize just how insecure most passwords in use today really are? Just two years ago, an 8 character password made up of both upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols would have taken 2.25 years to crack. The same password today would take just 57 days. This is a good indicator of just how quickly processing power has advanced in the past couple of years.
Take a look at the table below, heat mapped with what are considered safe and unsafe password combinations. Where does your password fit in the table, and how secure is it?
k – Thousand (1,000 or 10-3)
m – Million (1,000,000 or 10-6)
bn – Billion (1,000,000,000 or 10-9)
tn – Trillion (1,000,000,000,000 or 10-12)
qd – Quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000 or 10-15)
qt – Quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 10-18)
My advice is to make sure your passwords contain both upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols and that it is at least 10 to 14 characters long. You can use numbers and symbols instead of some letters, for example the number 0 can be used instead of an o or O, a $ can be used instead of an S and a 1 can be used instead of an i or an L. You should also always avoid dictionary words (the first things password crackers look for) and easily guessable numbers such as the year of your birth.
Most all of my own passwords fall comfortably in the safe zone on the chart, but one password I use less often and that I considered safe is now in the red danger zone so I will have changed that by the time you’ve finished reading this article.
Want to check to see just how secure your passwords are? Check them out here: