90% of passwords can reportedly be hacked in less than six hours so here's how you can improve yours. 

Many of us will be guilty of committing a password sin at one time or another - whether it's using the same password for multiple accounts or choosing common or guessable words.

However, research from Synthetics Solutions has reported that a staggering 90% of the world's passwords can be cracked in 6 hours - meaning that weak passwords are not a risk that we can take.

In light of this news, the experts at Independent Advisor VPN have shared their top tips.

The cyber security pros have provided their expertise on creating a secure password and storing passwords safely online.

How to create a strong password

1. Length matters

Length really does matter when it comes to your password.

The experts have advised that hackers often use brute force techniques when trying to get access to your device.

This is where hackers try every possible combination of characters to work out the correct sequence.

Every extra character makes your password exponentially more difficult to hack, so aim for a minimum of 12 characters.

2. Use different character types

"A password’s strength depends on how unique it is," according to the team.

They continued: "Ensure your passwords have all four character types, at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one special character, and one number".

3. Avoid common words

As a general rule, the experts have advised that if you could find your password in a dictionary, it is not a strong password.

The team went on to say: "Opt for a combination of random words, use acronyms or try character substitution to make your password more complex and secure.

"In a similar vein, ensure that it’s not a name or topic that could be guessed by somebody that knows you".

4. Do not use popular passwords

"Common character combinations such as ‘1234’ and ‘abcd’ or keyboard walks like ‘qwerty’ make for very weak passwords as hackers have a list of frequently used combinations that they immediately test," according to Independent Advisor VPN.

The experts commented: "Avoiding these combinations will significantly strengthen your password.

"The most commonly used password is ‘123456’. Along with the likes of ‘password’ and ‘admin’, these can be cracked in less than a second". 

York Press: Don't use popular passwords or common words are among the top tips. ( Getty Images)Don't use popular passwords or common words are among the top tips. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

5. Try passphrases

The experts also recommend using passphrases since they are typically longer and more unique than ordinary passwords.

This makes them more challenging to guess or brute force.

"Make your passphrase by thinking of a sentence and using the first initial of each word," the team said.

"For example, the sentence “I want to make a strong password to secure my details” would create the passphrase: ‘Iwtmasptsmd’.

"Remember to add symbols and characters to strengthen the password".

6. Never reuse passwords

When a hacker manages to figure out a duplicate password, it instantly compromises any account sharing that password, leaving you more vulnerable to multiple attacks.

The team warned that you should never repeat or recycle your password.

They added that a strong password is a unique password whilst also recommending that you can check to see if your email address password has been leaked via sites like "Have I Been Pwned”.

If your password is leaked as part of a data breach, make sure to change it as quickly as possible. 

7. Store your passwords safely using a password manager 

It can be hard to remember all passwords used across different accounts.

A reputable password manager will safely store all of your passwords, helping you manage different codes for various accounts.

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Of course, there is an element of risk involved if all of your passwords are accessible in one location.

To combat this, make sure to use multifactor authentication, along with a trustworthy password manager. 

NordPass and Bitwarden are solid free options, while Dashlane and LastPass offer various premium features for paid users.