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What is a secure password, and how can I tell if it is easy to crack?

Password check

One of the weakest links in all IT and Internet systems is the requirement to have a password to log in to a device or service.

We all have several passwords to remember, and typically we tend to simplify what we need to enter. Having 48 unique passwords, all 23 characters long with symbols in them – wow that’s not going to happen, is it?

We may re-use the same password or have a password “theme” that helps us make our passwords easier to remember.

This is what the bad guys want us to do because it maximises the chances of hacking your accounts.

To illustrate this, have a look at the ITGUYS password security check-up webpage.


There are two options here – the first allows you to enter a password and see if it has been found to be hacked in a previous security incident.

The second option allows you to test how easily a password is to crack.

If you enter a password of Password – you can see it is immediately crackable.

And I doubt anyone would use Password. It’s too obvious.

What about something longer?


Slightly better but not great as it has no symbols…
(NB the time show is for a human to crack the password, not a “brute-force” password cracker.)

OK so let’s try again.


is much better but even this one has a repeated pattern in it – could be better.

Finally, let’s go for something I would consider:

“I like drinking a dry white Italian wine with spaghetti vongole”.

Wow – I never knew there was a word like trestrigintillion!

Hopefully, now you can see how a complex password or phrase makes it so much harder for the bad guys to crack it. And to make life even easier, you can use a password manager to make these issues a thing of the past but having the password manager take all the pain of creating complex passwords for you.

For more information read our article about password managers here:  https://www.itguys.com/knowledgebase/what-is-a-password-manager-and-why-do-i-need-one/

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