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Here’s a rather neat online tool which you can use to measure the strength of your passwords, which is directly related to how long the password is, and what character set you’ve used (a to z, or symbols, etc).

Give it a password… or rather something that is like your passwords, but not your actual password (!), and see how many guesses on average it would take for a hacker to brute force (i.e. keep guessing until they find it). I think you’ll probably want to choose a stronger password?!

Some password choosing hints:

– Assume any name or word that can be found in a dictionary is insecure, regardless of length. It’s *very* insecure. Password crackers come with built-in dictionaries.
– It needs to be memorable, so you don’t have to write it down. If you must write it down, write it on a physical piece of paper, and put it in a safe well away from the computer. Not in a text file on the computer itself!
– Length is more important than the use of strange characters – it’s better to use a long phrase of simply a-z than a short phrase with $!# in it. You can make the phrase memorable – a sentence perhaps, e.g. ‘whenigrowupiwanttobeanastronaut’. Putting numbers and symbols in such a password is nice, but not strictly necessary when a password is so long.
– Consider using a quality password safe application to keep website passwords secure and under the protection of a strong master password – for example