Newsflash! Easy passwords are easy to crack, as a new study has found the exact amount of time it would take a hacker to access your account based on the complexity of your password.
Passwords are your first line of defense in the battle for online security and tools like password managers can go a long way in making it easier. Unfortunately, the majority of users don't take it seriously, with 85% of people admitting that they use a single password on multiple sites.
Subsequently, having a secure password is vital to your online security, particularly if you plan on reusing it for a bunch of sites, which we do not recommend you do.
How Long does it Take for a Hacker to Crack Your Password?
A study from Hive Systems researched the ease with which the average hacker could crack your password. Taking into account length, complexity, and character variation, the below table breaks down exactly how long your passwords should be, as well as how many varied characters should be inside of it. Take a look at the results below:
As you can see, there are a number of passwords that are hackable instantly. Even worse, many of them still fall within the parameters of password requirements on certain websites, which is never a good look.
The primary takeaway from this research should be length. As long as your password isn't all numbers and is longer than 14 characters, it will take at least four years for a hacker to access your account. And hey, if you've got it in you to create an 18-characer password with numbers, special characters, and upper and lowercase letters, you'll be able to keep hackers at bay for a cool 438 trillion years.
Read our guide to creating a secure password
How to Protect Yourself Online
Following password best practices is a surefire way to ensure your safety online, because passwords remain the primary means by which you can protect yourself online. And while there are a wide range of passwords tips that can help, there's one that people never follow that will help the most.
“If you use the same password on multiple sites, you’re in for a bad time.”
At this point, though, the average user has more than 100 passwords, so remembering all of them seems like an unreasonable request. Fortunately, tools like password managers are designed to keep your accounts varied while providing you with an easy means of accessing them. Take a look at the password manager table below to get a good idea of what's out there for you.
Local Storage Option
Password Generator Function
A password manager can create secure, complex passwords for you. You won't need to remember them yourself.
Live Chat Support
Overall cost per year for a single user.
Cheapest available business plan
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