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How long it'll take to crack your passwords

By Charlie Fripp,

With your current passwords in mind, how long do you think it would take a hacker to crack them? Keep reading for a tool that will show you just how strong your passwords are. You’ll probably be shocked to find out how simple they are to crack.

On average, it takes a hacker about two seconds to crack an 11-character password that uses only numbers. Throw in some upper- and lower-case letters, and it will take a hacker one minute to hack into a seven-character password.

Hive Systems developed a handy chart to illustrate the time it takes for a hacker to brute force your password. A brute force attack on your login details is when cybercriminals use trial-and-error to guess your details.

Cybercriminals use sophisticated software that can run thousands of password combinations a minute, and their tools are only getting better. A general rule is that your password should be at least 11 characters and use numbers, along with upper and lowercase letters. That combination will take hackers 41 years to crack.

But what about passwords that use the full gamut of password creation? If your password comprises numbers, upper and lowercase letters and symbols, it will take a hacker 34,000 years to crack – if it’s 12 characters long.

According to the tool, the shorter your password, the easier it is guessed. Even if you use all the possible variations. Use eight characters and it will be cracked in hours. Seven characters will be breached in minutes, and six or fewer characters will take mere seconds.

As the chart indicates, to prevent a successful brute force attack on your password, you should have at least 10 characters that use the full range of options. Anything shorter than that, and it will only take a few days to crack.

A great way to secure your accounts is to use a password manager that creates and stores all your passwords for you. You only have to remember the master password, and you should have no problems in the future.

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