Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How secure is your password?

You can ask yourself that question in http://howsecureismypassword.net/, a simple but effective tool.  But you might not be confident in typing your password in a not-so-known website, and I am definitely not vouching for this one.  Although the interesting bit about that site is it tells you how long for an ordinary hacker's computer program (i.e. using a simple desktop computer) can crack/decode your password.

So instead, you might want to put all your trust in Microsoft; they have an online password strength checking tool as well at https://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/password-checker.aspx?WT.mc_id=Site_Link.

Here are a couple of other password strength checking tools:
http://www.passwordmeter.com/ - where you can see how it calculates / assigns weighting factors to your password strength score. or something.
http://www.testyourpassword.com/ - where you can also use a free password generating tool.

I personally would use Microsoft's tool only, though for its simplicity I also like using the first one.

One thing I do also is I "rank" websites according to how well I trust in their own site security measures, like Google and a couple other sites for example would do everything it takes to make all our information secure (from non-Google entities at least) or else their business will go down once security of our personal information is compromised.  For banks in my home country - I don't trust their IT department as much as I would trust Google's engineers, and it's not that the bank's IT engineers are not doing everything it takes to ensure security, it's just that I personally think Google has a lot more to lose and so they invest more in security.  So I have the most difficult to crack passwords for Google - Facebook as well - and maybe 2nd most difficult passwords for other sites, and so on.  And yes, I don't use the same password for top tier sites.  But for not so popular sites and online services - I only use moderately difficult passwords.  But yeah, being "difficult" to crack, they are also more difficult to remember.  Just as we might allow strangers to frisk us at airports and so on, such is the price for security.

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