Most websites require a “minimum” password strength. For example, you might have to create a password with a minimum number of characters, numbers, and/or special characters.
But what if you want to independently verify your password security? Here are three tests you can give your passwords to confirm their strength.
Test 1: Is your password long enough?
Adding length to a password is the quickest way to make it stronger. But how long is long enough?
Got a password of your own you want to test? Paste it into the password field to get an instant visual score.
Test 2: Is your password complex enough?
The random password generator above actually factors password length and complexity into its results. But if you want a complexity score that is more… well, complex, check out the University of Illinois’s Password Strength Test.
This test breaks down how it judges your password’s strength by categories like repeat characters, consecutive numbers, and more factors that are too complex to describe concisely.
We recommend exploring the math behind this test if you’ve got an academic interest in password strength. But for general use, it’s enough just to make sure your score is green.
Test 3: Is your password unique?
Even the longest, most complex password you can think of is a weak password if it’s already been compromised in a data breach, which is one of the most common ways hackers get passwords.
Have I Been Pwned is a free service that can tell you how many times your password has been exposed already. Even if it’s only once, you shouldn’t use that password anywhere. And if you already do, you should change it immediately!
Pro tip: Use a password manager
There’s no need to run through each of these three tests every time you need a new password, however. The ultimate password power move is to use a password manager.
A password manager can quickly generate strong passwords for you, store them securely, and automatically fill them into login screens on websites and apps. It can even help you instantly verify your password security for extra peace of mind.