Passwords – Complexity or Length?

Secure passwords are a general problem among many social media sites. Scams and hacks regularly steal passwords and post material and links from your account, making all of your friends (and followers) think you have found a miracle product or won a very expensive product just by entering all of your personal information in a form on a random (and sketchy) website.

Many issues arise because, frankly, passwords just aren’t secure enough! When trying to determine a new password, many people use a minimum of 8 character passwords with a mix of letters and numbers (and sometimes symbols). Is it better to have a longer password (ThisIsMyPasswrd) or a complex password (C0mpl3x!)?? Which is easier to crack? According to Crambler.com, the more complex password is actually easier because the first password is (1) missing a letter (the ‘o’ in password) and (2) much longer. They did a study on complexity versus length with regards to password security and these are the ‘Don’ts’ they came up with.

  1. Dont use common words
  2. Dont use numbers in order
  3. Dont repeat numbers or letter
  4. Dont use the same password on every site

These are the “Consider” tips they came up with:

  1. Use spaces
  2. Use misspellings
  3. Use a long AND complex password

There is a lot of information out there about how to create a secure and strong password. According to Google Support The most important tips on secure and strong passwords are:

  1. Do not use the same password for every account
  2. Use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols
  3. Dont use personal or common information people might be able to figure out
  4. Make sure all password email recovery information is up-to-date
  5. Keep all your passwords in a secure location, preferably not on a sticky note on your desk or in a Word document on your computer

Some of the tools used in the Crambler study to test the effectiveness of a password, were Passfault Analyzer and How Secure is my Password. I used How Secure is my Password and it told me that my personal password would take a computer 4 days to crack!

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