Magpie Tech Tips

December 06, 2016

Could Someone Guess Your Password in 100 Tries?

Is your password guess-proof? Could someone guess it in 100 tries? If there's even a small possibility someone could, consider these tips for making and keeping strong passwords.

How long do you think it would take another person to guess any of your passwords?  1,000 tries?  1 million?  Well, it seems hackers don’t need that many…

Would your password withstand 100 guesses from a hacker? – Naked Security by Sophos, Nov 9, 2016

Studies from China and the UK show that it’s not only possible for hackers to guess your password, they have a high chances of succeeding.  In only 100 tries!

The key is Personally Identifiable Information, or PII.  With just a little information about you, hackers can dig up the password they need to break into your work computer, your phone, even your bank account.

What kind of Personally Identifiable Information do hackers need?  Any of these will do:

  • Name
  • Birthday
  • Email address
  • Another password you use (called a “sister password”)
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Phone Number
  • Social Security Number

Hackers don’t have to sit at the keyboard typing in password ideas manually, either.  Software will do that for them.  Thousands of password guesses in minutes.

How long do you think your passwords would hold up?

Avoid a “Lucky” Guess.  Always Use Strong Passwords.

Prevent hackers from guessing your password by using strong, complex passwords for everything.  “123456” doesn’t cut it.  Think more in terms of, “R@ndom Pa33 gkuh!” (spaces included!).

Use a Password Strength Tester to test new passwords.  We have a Password Strength Tester on our “Customer How To” page.

Need help remembering them all?  Use a Password Manager to keep track.  We mentioned some in our last WOOF! article on passwords, like LastPass, Dashlane, and Sticky Password.

Got a tech question you need answered?  Please email us at woof@planetmagpie.com and we may make it our next Tech Tip.