In the wake of the recent Snapchat password database getting hacked, the security experts are advising once again about the practice of using secure and stronger passwords. You can use a password generator app like Norton Password Generator that we have recently reviewed on TrishTech. But no matter what type of passwords you use, they all can be cracked using the bruteforce method. In this method, the hackers use keep entering all the possible combinations of characters and numbers, until they find the correct password. The success of bruteforce attack increases if the hackers are using a faster computer which enables them to guess the password faster.
The only way to stay secure against such bruteforce attacks is to use longer and stronger passwords. But how would you know that the password that you are going to use (or are using) is not going to be an easy job for bruteforce hackers?
You can check the security level of your password(s) against bruteforce attacks using the free online web app called HowSecureIsMyPassword. You can visit their website and enter your password. The website will show you how long it would take for a hacker having a desktop PC to crack your password. I entered a random password and it showed a duration of 2,000 years that it would take for some hacker to crack it.
The web app also has settings to view by clicking on Show Settings. By default, it assumes that the desktop PC used by a hacker can do 4 billion calculations per second. You can increase it to see if the hacker is using cloud computing (combined power of multiple desktop PCs) or suppose a hypothetical government agency having access to supercomputers decides to crack on your password. Modern supercomputers can perform a million trillion calculations per second, albeit they are used simultaneously by multiple organisations so not all the power is available for one task.
The longer passwords having a combination of uppercase & lowercase characters, numerals and special characters tend to take very long time to crack. As a general rule, you should use passwords of at least 12 characters (or more if possible), having no dictionary words or pharses, no dates or names. You can use the free password suggestion tool Pafwert to get an idea about smarter passwords. But if you want to generate stronger passwords directly, then you can use PWGen password generator utility.
You can visit the HowSecureIsMyPassword web app at http://www.howsecureismypassword.net/.