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Password Complexity: How Long Would it Take a Hacker to Brute Force Your Account?

Password Complexity: How Long Would it Take a Hacker to Brute Force Your Account?

Password complexity – why all the hoopla?

Since data is king, your passwords can be one of the main barriers between hackers and your assets, your reputation, and your personally identifiable information.

So, if you’re still using simple passwords just so you’ll be able to remember them, well, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.


Dictionary and brute force attacks

Besides using phishing and other deceptive tactics to obtain credentials, hackers can use brute force attacks, which attempt to defeat an authentication mechanism with a barrage of possible passwords. Dictionary attacks, a form of brute force, use password possibilities that can be more likely to succeed; these are based off such things as dictionary words and previously used passwords.

So, depending on the complexity of the password, just how long would it take a hacker to break into your account? Below are some sample password complexities with an estimated time it would take to brute force them.

Password Complexity Infographic

It’s important to remember this is just a guide. For instance, although the following password is technically complex, it won’t keep the hackers out for very long:


So, creating a fundamentally simple password that barely satisfies the complexity requirements is not a smart thing to do – and it’s vital to be smart with your passwords!

Fortunately, many apps and sites can gauge the strength of your passwords during account creation, providing useful guidance and comfort.

But as we all know, having too many accounts and associated complex passwords can be hard to manage. Some will start recycling these complex passwords or even share with co-workers. A password manager may help.


Thinking of using a password manager?

Have too many password to keep up with? A password manager may be a useful tool to help you keep up with all the complex passwords you’ve concocted.

But, you know what they say: Beware of putting all your eggs in one basket.

Learn the benefits and possible drawbacks of using password managers in this article from Thrive. Although the article is written for medical practices, the general tips and information in it are applicable to a wide variety of industries.

Connect with us on social media to stay informed of the latest threats and top tips, and be sure to regularly check the Thrive blog for new articles on cybersecurity and IT.