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Short Passwords are Easier than ever to Hack


If you want to be successful online, it’s essential to take precautions to protect your personal information. Failing to do so can quickly ruin any progress you make. According to Hive Systems, advances in graphics processing technology have made it easier for hackers to crack passwords using brute force techniques.

A recent report claims that an 8-character complex password could be cracked in just 39 minutes using the latest graphics processing technology.

As detailed by the Hive Systems article, discovering the passwords obtained during a data breach is available to almost every bad actor. A high-end video card is often used to brute force password guesses once the plain text of the password is acquired – passwords are often sold on the dark web. The length of time it takes to crack even complex passwords is a function of computing resources. High-end video cards are expensive, but just like legitimate businesses, the cloud makes renting specialized GPU resources simple to add to any computing effort. 

Passwords with fewer characters are easier to crack than passwords with more characters. This is because hackers have more opportunities to guess a password with fewer characters. Passwords with a greater number of characters are less vulnerable to cracking in a short amount of time. An 8 character password with only lower case letters can be cracked in just 39 minutes; however, a 12 character password with letters and numbers would take 11 million years with current computing technology.  A longer string of random words is more secure than a complex but short password. Passwords that are too short put you at risk of being hacked. To create a strong password that is easy to remember, you can use a passphrase to make your password.

How create a memorable passphrase instead of a simple password

Step 1: Choose a memorable phrase

My favorite band is the Beatles.

Step 2: Make a list of the words that make up the phrase

my, favorite, band, is, the, beatles

Step 3: Use these words as your password, adding symbols between each word


31 Characters would take trillions of years to successfully brute force attack.

If you have been using short passwords or reusing passwords for different services – you have already likely been exposed to cybercriminals and fraud.   
Check Have I Been Pwned to see if your private data has been exposed during a data breach.

It’s important to use a password manager to keep your passwords safe.

A password manager will help you to not re-use passwords, making it easier to use strong passwords, and store them in one place. One can use a passphrase instead of a simple password to secure your password manager with the one password you need to remember. Using a password manager means not writing down your passwords on a sheet of paper. Writing passwords down may seem like an easy way to manage passwords, but losing the paper is tragic, not having the paper when you need it is inconvenient, and losing track of the paper means changing all of those passwords you just exposed.

Many password managers are available:

  1. 1Password
  2. LastPass
  3. Dashlane
  4. RoboForm
  5. Keepass

We use Bitwarden, but any of the above is an acceptable way to manage your passwords.


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