Sure, it may seem frustrating at times when a website gives you seemingly ridiculous password requirements - "What do you mean I need 27 characters, 18 numbers, 4 symbols and a wingding?!"
But believe it or not, there is a very serious security reason behind this. Your password is the first, and often the only, line of defense between your personal or business data and a hacker. In fact, it's surprising just how quickly a simple password (i.e. one that's made up of only letters or only numbers) can be cracked with the right equipment:
So just remember - more complexity = more secure.
A password like:
(which only mixes letters and numbers)
is cracked in the time it takes an arrow to hit a target.
But a password like:
(which mixes capital and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers)
is cracked in the same time it took to build Mt. Rushmore - 14 years!
So some good rules of thumb to follow when creating a password:
1. Include upper and lowercase letters
2. Include both numbers and symbols (if allowed)
3. The more characters the better
Additional processes, like two-step authentication, can offer even further protection in addition to a password - which we'll discuss more in a future post.