Does Size Actually Matter? Password Tips

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After years of debate and arguments from both sides of the aisle, the age-old question has finally been answered…

The answer is YES!

Size DOES matter…

(when it comes to the strength of your passwords)

You may have been told that your password needs to be super complex in order to prevent your accounts from being hacked. However, when your password is complex, it may sometimes be hard to remember. It turns out, you are probably making it harder than it needs to be. There are actually better ways to create passwords that are easier to remember AND more secure than a complex password with a bunch of random characters and symbols.

The best way to have a secure password is to make it long. Now, before you argue that longer passwords are harder to remember, let me explain.

There are programs on the internet that allow you to determine how secure your password is (in this case, we used HowSecureIsMyPassword.net, which is a safe program offered by Dashlane, a reputable password manager company). It tells you how long a computer could take to crack your password. 

Here are some examples of good passwords and bad passwords.

Password

Good or Bad

Time it takes to crack it

Password

Bad

Instantly

P@ssw0rd

Bad

9 hours

P@ssw0rd1

Bad

4 weeks

P@ssw0rd1#

Bad

6 years

!P@ssw0rd12

Bad

400 years

#1HateShopping#1

Good

1 Trillion years

#1HateShoppingOnline#1

Excellent

252 Sextillion years

You can see that the longer passwords, despite being simpler, have a lesser chance of a computer cracking it easily. Simply by making a password longer reduces the possibility of your account getting hacked. As it shows, complexity does not always mean more secure.

One thing to keep in mind is that just because a computer takes 252 Sextillion years to crack your password, it does not mean it cannot be easily guessed. If someone knows that you hate shopping online and your favorite number is the #1, they could figure out your password easily within a couple tries. Most logins may lock you out after several failed attempts, but it only needs to take one time for your account to get breached.

With that being said, make sure of the following:’

  1. Use a phrase. (Ex. I Like to Eat Cheesecake)
  2. Always use numbers, letter, and symbols. (Ex. 1$iLikeToEatCheesecake1$)
  3. Do not make it an obvious password that someone can guess based off of knowing you. (You hate Cheesecake, so the password is the opposite).
  4. MAKE IT LONG! Remember, making it longer does not mean making it hard to remember. (Ex. This password [ 1$iLikeToEatCheesecake$1 ] would take 19 Septillion years for a computer to crack. In addition to that, it may be difficult for someone to guess since you do not actually like cheesecake.

If all else fails and you still have a difficult time remembering your password, you can use a password manager, which you can find out more here.

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