How to choose the right computer password

Published on August 26th, 2011
How to choose the right computer password

When it comes to choosing passwords, we tend to opt for things we’ll remember, like our birth dates, pets’ names or the famous ’12345′, right? What if there was a way to write really strong passwords to ensure that nobody would ever be able to hack your accounts?

Researchers have found that, in the battle against modern hackers and their state-of-the-art hardware, computer passwords need to be composed of at least 12 characters selected at random from all the numbers, letters and symbols on the keyboard.

According to an article on, up until a few years ago, an eight-character long password with a mixture of numbers and letters would have provided relatively strong protection. However, the use of graphics processors and website-patrolling robots have given hackers the ability to crack anything but the most complex of passwords.

Did you know that hackers use two different kinds of tricks to break passwords? The first technique matches the password against a dictionary of names, dates and other commonly used security phrases. If you used your birthday or a pet’s name, this method will find the password easily.

The second technique is called a ‘brute force attack’, which tries every possible combination of letters and numbers until one works. Like trying every possible combination on a lock, this method takes a lot of time, but thanks to faster computers, it can be done much more quickly than ever before.

How do you protect yourself against hackers? Make sure you choose a password that includes 10 to 12 completely random characters.

Pic credit: akeg

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