The Internet
Beginner
30 mins
110 points
What you need:
Computer/laptop

# Strong vs. Weak Passwords

Learn the difference between strong and weak passwords and how to create a strong password to protect your accounts.
Learning Goals Learning Outcomes Teacher Notes

### 1 - Introduction to Passwords

When you create an account online, you need a password to keep your information safe. A password is like a key that locks and unlocks your account. It's important to have a strong password so that other people can't easily guess it and access your account.

### 2 - Weak Passwords

A weak password is one that is easy for someone else to guess or figure out. Examples of weak passwords are:

• 1234
• your pet's name

These passwords are easy to guess because they are simple and common. Avoid using weak passwords to protect your accounts.

### 3 - Strong Passwords

A strong password is one that is difficult for someone else to guess or figure out. A strong password usually:

• Has at least 8 characters
• Includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters
• Includes numbers
• Includes special characters (like !, @, #, \$, %, ^, &, *)

By using a combination of these elements, you can create a strong password that is difficult for others to guess.

### 4 - Understanding Password Length and Security

Let's look at how the length of a password affects the chances of it being hacked. We'll use numbers as an example:

There are 10 possible passwords (0-9). For example, '5'. It's very easy to guess, like finding a book in a small box.

There are 100 possible passwords (00-99). For example, '25'. It's still easy to guess, like finding a book in a room.

There are 1,000 possible passwords (000-999). For example, '123'. It's harder to guess, but not strong enough, like finding a book in a house.

As you can see, the longer the password, the more difficult it is for someone to guess it.

### 5 - Comparing Password Strength

Let's compare different types of passwords and see how adding more characters can make them stronger. We will use passwords of length 8 for each example and say we can take 1,000 guesses per second (a computer could easily do this!).

Take a look at the table below:

Password withExampleDescriptionHow Long to Guess
Only numbers (0-9)12345678There are 10 possible characters (0-9) and 8 positions, so there are 10^8 (100,000,000) possible combinations.1.2 days
Numbers and lowercase letters (a-z)a1b2c3d4There are 36 possible characters (0-9, a-z) and 8 positions, so there are 36^8 (2,821,109,907,456) possible combinations.89.5 years
Numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters (A-Z, a-z)A1b2C3d4There are 62 possible characters (0-9, A-Z, a-z) and 8 positions, so there are 62^8 (218,340,105,584,896) possible combinations.6,918,651 years
Numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, and special charactersA1b@C3#4There are 72 possible characters (0-9, A-Z, a-z, special characters) and 8 positions, so there are 72^8 (722,204,136,308,736) possible combinations.22,895,746 years

By adding more types of characters to your password, you make it even more difficult for someone to guess it.

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