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from Lifehacker The man at One Man's Blog explains how alarmingly easy it is to crack passwords and offers tips on choosing safer ones.
First, he breaks down the steps he'd take in cracking a password. That includes the simple act of guessing the top ten passwords (pet's name, "1234," date of birth, etc.) used by 20 percent of all users. If that doesn't work, he'll turn to a brute-force attack, which, as you can see in the table above, can get the job done in as little as 0.02 seconds.
This is eye-opening stuff, even for users who know better than to use "1234" as their password. Thankfully, the author goes on to provide seven great tips on choosing safer passwords, including using Microsoft's password strength tester. Required reading. When you're done, check out our other posts on