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  • Emma Lake Boydston

Are Your Passwords in the Purple?

If you’ve ever heard my presentation “Practical Tips for Staying Safe on the Internet”, you know that when it comes to passwords I like to beat the drum of using unique and complex passwords. A long and complex password can make it very challenging for a hacker to decrypt your password after a data breach. The cybersecurity firm Hive Systems has recently released their analysis of how long that process might actually take, based on today’s computing power. Their write up is fairly technical, but the final chart shows the vast differences in time involved. For example, a 10-character password consisting of upper and lowercase letters can be solved for in 4 minutes. But a 14-character password consisting of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols would take 3,000 years to crack! There are obviously lots of assumptions and caveats, so I do suggest reading the whole article if you are at all interested in this kind of mathematical analysis. (Table source:

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