We ve all gone through the process of trying to sign up for a website, only to be told our password isn t strong enough.

But these password strength meters may not be all they re cracked up to be and may be only giving the illusion of security.

According to Mark Stockley, founder of web consultancy Compound Eye, these meters don t actually measure strength at all.

Stockley tested five different password meters, first in March 2015 and then 18 months later.

Writing for Sophos, he explained that password meters only attempt to measure how long it would take to crack the password.

A meter on the website typically suggests you use a long password with uppercase and lowercase characters and symbols like question marks and exclamation points.

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