Ever wondered how long it would take to crack your online passwords?
Unfortunately, this can be automated by nerd-like characters setting in motion decryption software that can wade through endless iterations of keyboard characters in nanoseconds (this is one thousand millionth of a second).
If you want to test the effectiveness of your passwords try entering them in the https://howsecureismypassword.net. Warning, this site is sponsored by an online service that manages passwords, so they have an agenda, but the results of a quick search can be illuminating.
For example, if you use your first name as your password, David, this could apparently be cracked instantly. Add your date of birth, so david230467, and this string would take one month to untangle. Dispense with the date and replace with an unrelated, random word, say DavidHillside, and apparently the password would take sixteen thousand years to crack.
And then there are inquisitive children and associates who may take an interest in accessing your online resources. In which case they will probably trawl through what they know about you, which places them ahead of computer decryption, and try your name, names of children or spouse, dates of birth etc. This hit and miss approach may or may not achieve the desired access to your inner sanctum but avoiding use of this data would seem to make sense.
Certainly, it would seem sensible to avoid short passwords, in fact, many software packages will only accept passwords of a certain minimum length, usually 8 characters, and insist that you use upper and lowercase letters, numbers and certain obscure characters such as ?/!”£% etc.
The days of relying on grey cells to stump up a password when confronted with a login box are long gone, there are just too many software applications, too many passwords to remember. And beware, don’t be tempted to set the same password for different applications. It would only take an enterprising hacker to access your PC or laptop and the world would be their oyster.