Having a secure password is incredibly important. These days cyber crime is reaching record levels. As more and more people use digital devices and store their data on them, it becomes a greater incentive for criminals to try and gain access to that data.
To protect yourself you need a secure and complex password. It doesn’t have to be hard to remember or hundreds of characters long. By following the simple steps below you can create your own secure password.
There are only 3 rules that you need to be thinkina about when creating your password:
- Passwords cannot contain the user’s account name or parts of the user’s full name that exceed two consecutive characters.
- Passwords must be at least EIGHT characters in length.
- Passwords must contain characters from three of the following four categories (best if you can use all 4!):
- English uppercase characters (A through Z).
- English lowercase characters (a through z).
- Base 10 digits (0 through 9).
- Non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, >,@,”, #, %).
Passwords don’t have to be hard to remember. They just have to have to include the 3 rules above. You can take rememberable words or phrases and just change some of the characters.
- ilovemywife – becomes – 1L0veMyW!f3
- letsgofishing – becomes – L£tsG0F!sh!n9
Password complexity is all about the Math!
Each additional character in a password increases its complexity exponentially. For instance, a seven-character, all lower-case alphabetic password would have 8 billion possible combinations. This is because each character has 26 different combinations (26x26x26x26x26x26x26 = 8 billion).
BUT at 1,000,000 attempts per second (a capability of many password-cracking utilities), it would only take 133 minutes (just over 2 hours!) to crack such a password.
A seven-character alphabetic password with upper and lower case has 1 trillion combinations (52x52x52x52x52x52x52).
A seven-character password with upper and lower case and numbers has 6.7 trillion combinations.
An eight-character password with upper and lowercase and numbers has 457 trillion possible combinations. Although this might seem to be a large number, at 1,000,000 attempts per second it would take only 59 hours to try all possible passwords (that’s less than 2 and a half days!).
When you start adding punctuation and ALT symbols, such as £, &, (, “, *,>, ; and so on, your passwords will become significantly harder and take longer to crack. Proper use of the password settings helps to prevent the success of a brute force attack.