Monday, November 10, 2008

How tough do you think your password is?

Creating a strong password to protect your private data is probably one of the most important aspects to keep your online data secure. But what is exactly a strong password? Well, with the lack of a better definition, a strong password is one that cannot be easily broken (that is, in a short amount of time) by a human or a software program employing brute-force techniques.

So, using your dog's name, your birthday date (even in reverse) or your wife's maiden name is never a good option as these would be the first attempts of an attacker. The best option is to use a meaningless word (that is not part of any dictionary) that includes numbers, special characters and has at least 8 characters.

To know exactly how strong a password is, you can always use an online brute force calculator (if you're not comfortable about placing those stats on an online form, you can always use an offline one). According to this calculator, one of my passwords (yes, another tip is to use different passwords for different accounts) is 12 characters long and has 8,224,573,620,224,000 combinations. That means that it will take 29,920.82 hours or 1,246.70 days to crack my password on a computer that tries 137,438,953,472 passwords per hour. This is based on a typical PC processor in 2008 and that the processor is under 10% load.

So, I guess I'm more or less safe... well, except if write my password on a piece of paper and then left it out in the open for everyone to see :-)

Source: Lifehacker
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One thing you could try is it's a tough password maker, you make a sentence, it makes a password. So, if you forget the password, just make the same sentence again and you get the same password again. I am the maker of the site, by the way.