Finding new passwords can be annoying, although important, and the exact combination of the number of characters and symbols used could determine how quickly a computer can crack a password.
The World Economic Forum published a wave of ideas it can help explain how people should change their passwords to maximize security. This can be extremely important, because 91% of people are aware of the risks of reusing passwords, but 66% do it anyway, according to the password management company. Last pass.
In order to assess the strength of a password, based on the number of uppercase letters, numbers and symbols, the World Economic Forum has developed a ‘How secure is your password?’ graphic.
A standard eight-letter password has 209 billion possible combinations, but a computer could calculate the correct one in seconds. Adding a single uppercase letter to a standard password could increase a computer’s compute time to 22 minutes, an increase of over 1000%.
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Using characters other than lowercase letters, adding uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers, can greatly increase the security of a password. The World Economic Forum said using at least one uppercase letter and one number in an eight-character password would take a computer an hour to decipher. Add another symbol and it will now take eight hours for a computer to crack it.
A twelve-character password consisting of an uppercase letter, number and symbol is considered unbreakable, with the World Economic Forum saying it would take 34,000 years for a computer to decipher it.
Creating strong passwords is critically important, as digital security company Norton notes that nearly two in three adults report spending more time online than ever before. However, the company also found that 83% of consumers wanted to do more to protect their privacy, but 46% said they didn’t know how.
Norton says a better consumer defense against social engineering attacks is to secure accounts with strong passwords. The company also recommends using two-factor authentication, a process that requires a third-party program to verify a user’s identity in addition to entering the required password.
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