Passwords can be cracked in a matter of seconds. Are they long and complicated? Trillions of years.

According to a recent study from Hive Systems, a cybersecurity company based in Virginia, it would likely take an average hacker less than a day to crack the passwords for your most important online accounts.

The average hacker can crack an eight-character password within eight hours, according to the findings. Any hacker who knows what they're doing can easily crack anything shorter or less complex.

A password that uses a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols could take up to 437 trillion years to crack, according to Hive Systems.

The company compiled a color-coded graph to show how quickly different passwords could be hacked, depending on their length and use of different characters, and how those times have accelerated since 2020.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology advises choosing long, complex passwords with at least eight characters.

Hive Systems used data from's HowSecureIsMyPassword tool to determine how long it would take the average hacker to crack your passwords.

Researchers at the company explain in a post how they can crack passwords. The process that websites use to disguise your passwords from hackers starts with a process called.

You will get a string of characters if you plug the word "password" into the software.

You shouldn't use the password as your password. It is one of the most common passwords that end up on the dark web.

Passwords are created with one-way methods. The most commonly-used software programs can be used to make lists of every possible combination of characters on the keyboard. At that point, hackers only have to look for matches of the hashed passwords on their list to determine your original passwords.

It's a complicated process, but one that can easily be pulled off by a knowledgeable hacker. That's why your best defense is using long, complicated passwords.

Not recycling passwords for multiple websites is strongly recommended by the report. You are in for a bad time if you do that, because hackers will be able to crack your password for one website.

You might not want to remember 18-character passwords when you log into an online account. Passwords that take trillions of years to crack aren't very useful if they also take a few million years to remember.

It would take 34 years for a hacker to crack a password with 11 characters, using a mix of numbers, letters and symbols. That is better than eight hours or less.

Our weekly newsletter can help you get smarter about your money and career.

Don't miss:

Make sure you don't use any of the passwords leaked on the dark web.

Fraud expert and ex-con artist warn about the 9 biggest password mistakes.