Security and safety are major concerns to us. Any computer that gets on the internet is at risk for viruses, spyware, , malware, and worst of all… HACKERS! The evil scourge of the internet prowling around cyberspace trying to break into the information we hold so dear.
For all of our e-mail, social media, banking, and other online accounts, the first line of defense is our passwords. A combination of letters, numbers, and/or special characters that only we are supposed to know. This raises the question “How strong of a defense is my password?”
Well, the folks over at Intel along with McAfee have posted this site that has an online calculator which tells you roughly how long it would take for a hacker to hack your password. It’s a pretty cool and useful tool.
Now, they urge you not to use your ACTUAL passwords (and we feel the same way), but you can type in something similar containing an equal amount of letters, numbers, and/or special characters in the same order to get approximately the same result. They say right on it that it won’t be sent over the internet, but better safe than sorry, right?
We will not retain information entered into this password grader. The password you enter is checked and graded on your computer. It is not sent over the Internet. Just the same, be careful where you type your passwords anywhere online.
Now, through a bit of playing with it, we found that it would take a hacker about 0 seconds to crack an easy to remember name like “baldwin”. It’s like they already know it. If you capitalize the “B” in “Baldwin“, it would then take about 14 minutes. If you come up with something less easy to remember but with varying characters like “K%l2u!Xj”, it would take about 3 hours for them to crack. That’s really not that much time if you think about it.
Now, from what we found by playing with it, is that the best passwords that are still easy to remember are somewhat long phrases with the words separated by a dash (or hyphen). For example, the phrase “U-wont-crack-this” would take about 10 months to crack. Unless a hacker REALLY wants the information protected by that password, they’ll most likely try to find somebody else’s account that’s easier to crack first. We also found that the phrase “Hellfire-Computers-Rules” would take a hacker 2,607,591,842,136,569 years to crack… NOBODY has that much time.
Here’s another link to the site: