Still using a dictionary based word as your master password? You may want to change it as it could be cracked within a matter of seconds!
Brute force password cracking is when a hacker will set a computer running to try every password combination possible to hack in to your account. This has been happening for years but it’s only recently it has become a large cause for concern, this is due to computers getting faster and able to process more data a second. To give a rough example, an 8 digit a to z password has roughly 8 billion combinations, modern day super computers can process 1 billion passwords a second so your account would be hacked within 4 minutes. A 6 digit password would be instant!
So what can be done to make your account more secure? Using a mixture of lowercase, uppercase, numbers and common symbols could mean that your 8 digit password will take nearly 3 months to crack. It is also recommended to use a different password for every site, all it needs is for you to enter your password on a rogue or insecure site and your paypal or banking password is exposed, no brute forcing required.
A new security measure is being implemented to stop this issue; 2 step authentication requires a second password to be entered to gain access to your account which changes every 60 seconds. The second time based password is provided via a secure mobile app so for someone to hack your account they would also have needed to have stolen your phone. Google and Twitter both offer this service.
To see how long is would take to crack your password please see: http://www.lockdown.co.uk/?pg=combi