For Passwords Complexity Definitely Helps But Length is Still Better

Whenever we are requested to create a password, many places talk about creating complex passwords that include upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols (punctuation). They may also require a minimum length of the password, such as 8 characters. While creating complex passwords is a good start, it doesn’t always guarantee the most secure password.

If possible, you should always try to add complexity to any password you create, but you shouldn’t sacrifice length to make a password complex.

Length has the most influence over the possible combinations of a password.

Since the length is the exponent in the equation, it has the most influence on the number of possible combinations.

For example, the number of possible combinations for an 8 character password that uses all the ASCII-printable characters would be:

948 = 6,095,689,385,410,816

As an example if we were to add one more character to the password, making it a 9 character password, the total number of combinations would jump to:

949 = 572,994,802,228,616,704



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