How to check the strength of your passwords

In general, any account that you have with a weak password could be at risk of being hacked. To eliminate concern, there are free password-strength-checking tools available online.

It seems that there is always news of accounts on certain Web sites being hacked, or being at risk for getting hacked. In general, though, any account that you have with a weak password could be at risk. To eliminate concern, there are free password-strength-checking tools available online. Below you will find three of the more popular ones available.

1. Microsoft's Password Checker. This is definitely one of the more well-known sites that allows you to check your password. Having the Microsoft name attached to it may make the user more comfortable to test their password strength here (or not, depending on your views of Microsoft). The strength of your password appears in the colored bar below it--ranged from red (worst) to dark green (best).

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

2. LBW-SOFT's Password-Review. On this site you can see the password as you enter it, so make sure you have some privacy before you get started. After you click "check pw" you will see a new screen that breaks down the weak and strong points of your password. By allowing a little more in-depth look at what is and isn't wrong with your password, this seems to be slightly more useful than the Microsoft version. Unfortunately, it's a bit difficult to read the dark gray text on the black background.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma


Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

3. AskTheGeek's Password Meter. This one takes the cake. Your password isn't shown while you type it in and the breakdown for password strength is very legible. No dark background like the aforementioned, and definitely more informative than the Microsoft version. One thing to note: this password meter is open-source, so many different sites may post it for their users to test passwords. It's recommended that you stick with the original if the password you're testing is for sensitive information, just to be safe.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma
Google Chrome

Using a password checker is a great way to make sure you're keeping your data as safe as possible. It's even something useful to share with friends, family, and even co-workers.

 

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