If your password is either all upper or lower case with no numbers or symbols and only 5 characters long it can be cracked instantaneously. If it's 8 characters it will take 35 minutes.
If you mix upper and lower case, a 5 character password can be cracked in under a minute. An 8 character password will take 6 days to crack.
Upper and lower case plus numbers
-5 characters - 9 seconds
-8 characters - 25 days
Upper and lower case alphabet and common symbols <>!@#$%^&* (no numbers)
-8 characters - 346 days
Throw numbers in there and it will take over two years!
(Data collected from here.)
But if you would rather keep your password simpler, you just have to change it more often and not let anyone have the time to be able to guess your password.
Sometimes if they're too complex they can be hard to remember, but here are some ideas on how to make your password more secure and easy to remember:
- Throw in numbers or symbols that look like letters:
P()tt3r&5nap3 (Potter & Snape)
- Intersperse familiar numbers (an old address) in another word:
E1a2s3y4St. (1234 Easy St.)
- Use the first letter from each word from a favorite song, poem, or scripture:
IHt8IaHt8IaIa (I'm Henry the 8th I am, Henry the 8 I am I am)
The top ten passwords used are:
- (your first name)
If yours is on this list you might consider changing it immediately.
Instead of having one password for everything you use, consider having one password for your more sensitive information, a more simpler one for things not so sensitive, and an easy one for things that aren't sensitive.
Please comment if you have any methods for creating passwords that could help us simplify our lives without compromising our security.