Passwords are a necessary evil. From my several conversations with people I get the impression that most hate the concept of a password. I believe one day passwords will be replace with biometric systems in the workplace. I am not sure when or how websites will ever replace the password system. Since we have to use passwords right now I will explain why longer passwords are better. I will also show you my character replacement system that helps create complex passwords with words you know. Now does size matter? In the case of password security, bigger is better. Short passwords like four digit codes are terribly insecure. People feel a false sense of security in using a four digit password. Modern computers and electronics have had great speed increases over the decade. It a lot of cases it takes longer to go through your fast food restaurant than have your four digit password broken into.
A recent news report revealed how a forensic company was selling equipment that would break into any iPhone’s password system in less than two minutes. The reason why this is possible is because the iPhone allows only a four digit numeric password for its lock screen. That equals 10000 possible combinations to break into your iPhone. Computers and electronic devices have gotten faster, to the point that they can process numbers at an incredible speed. This company was selling the equipment to police departments around the world. Even though they were doing it for a noble purpose, it is not hard for hackers get their hands on software programs that do the same thing. The flaw though had nothing to do with the iPhone itself, it had to do with the fact the lock password is only four digits long and can only use numbers. Hopefully Apple makes a future update to this system so complex passwords are allowed on the lock screen.
So why are longer passwords more secure? Well when it is all said and done, it comes down to math. Right now if you were just to use numbers and letters with capitals for your password, each digit of your password represents sixty two possible combinations. Meaning a 3 digit password would be 62 x 62 x 62 = 238328 possible combinations. An eight digit password has 218340105584896 possible combinations. Each increase in a digit increases the possible number of passwords exponentially. Yet with such a large number of combinations, it may take a computer a few days or weeks to crack an eight digit password. As computers have improved, both the consumer and the hacker have enjoyed greater speeds. Based on current technology a nine digit password will take years to be cracked by a computer. Yes things will change, computers will get faster, but with each additional digit added to your password, you can stay a step ahead.