Passwords are now seemingly stolen from everywhere around the web. Its important to stay vigilant and choose a strong one for yourself, but how strong is a strong password?
If we assumed a 7 character numeric password. There is 10,000,000 possible combinations (including 0000000).
Well what if we want to use letters to create our strong password? There are 26 letters in the alphabet. 26^7 is 8,031,810,176. That is a considerably amount. However, when you take into account that a 7 lower case character password can be cracked within a mere few hours, this is quite feeble.
When we introduce upper case letters it is an additional 26 possible characters and there are 32 potential special characters which can be used also:
Just Numbers- 10,000,000
Lower Case Letters- 8,031,810,176
Lower and Upper Case- 1,028,071,702,528
Lower and Upper Case with Numbers- 3,521,614,606,208
Lower and Upper Case with Numbers and Special Characters- 64,847,759,419,264
Just Numbers- 100,000,000
Lower Case Letters- 208,827,064,576
Lower and Upper Case- 53,459,728,531,456
Lower and Upper Case with Numbers- 218,340,105,584,896
Lower and Upper Case with Numbers and Special Characters – 6,095,689,385,410,820
As you can see, the mix of lower and upper case with a numeric and special character is the strongest combination to protect against a brute force attack, however note the variation between 7 and 8 characters. There are 6,030,841,625,991,550 (6.3 quadrillion) more possible combinations by adding that one extra character to create a strong password.
This is virtually unbreakable by brute force. To cover this contingency, if someone was to steal the hashed password (the encrypted password), by simply changing your password would invalidate any attempt they have made to crack it.