A password generator is a convenient and time-saving tool. Since it has access to your personal information, you want to know if these password makers are safe. This article will recommend if you should trust them. And we will provide the best practices when the time comes to create a new password.
Password generators are safe. They generally do not store your passwords but simply create them. Keep your new password safe by using a generator independent of the site for which it is created.
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Is a Password Generator Safe to Use?
You want to know if you can trust password generators before you use them. Password generators are safe to use. This is because they are pretty dumb. The programming language that makes them can be complicated. But their function is fairly straightforward.
They randomly select letters, numbers, and special characters. Then their job is complete. There is no need for them to store this information or do anything more.
Consider a worst-case scenario. You generate a password on a website. Without your knowledge, it secretly stores your password. When you use the password on another website the generator will not know. It is not smart enough to know where you use this password. All they know is a password without a username or a destination.
Say you use the password on the website where the password is generated. Great, you are already telling them your password when you log in. They don’t need to use the generator to steal your password. You are already giving it to them.
Easy to Remember Passwords
One of the most sought-after features of a password generator is easy-to-remember passwords. This is one of the many downfalls of passwords. It also undermines the benefit of generators and managers.
A memorable password is not difficult to create without a generator. They are also far less secure than a more complex formulation a generator can create.
Easy to remember passwords are a bad idea. A password that you can remember is more likely to be quickly compromised by a hacker.
The same is true for a password generator that uses words. Especially in a brute force type attack, hackers are quick to try passwords that have been used before. This includes passwords based on real words.
How to Create a High Security Password
You can create a unique password with the use of a password generator or by yourself.
To get started, think of a phrase or a theme for your password. This could be the name of your favorite vacation destination or a nickname. Consider an inside joke or something you like about a popular TV show. What matters is that this is something that is memorable.
However, you should avoid things that are too personal. Someone who knows you would have the potential to guess this. Next, we will modify it. This way the formatting of this password cannot be guessed based on this phrase.
First, you would start with simple substitutions. For example, change the letter “i” to the number 1. Also, the letter “E” makes a good substitution for the number 3.
Next, choose two letters to be capital letters instead of lowercase. Finally, add two special characters. These can be something like an underscore or an exclamation mark.
This type of password can be beneficial because the original phrase serves as a reminder. However, some downfalls include remembering this phrase, to begin with. Also, with multiple passwords, it can be difficult to remember The formatting such as the placement of the special characters.
As you can see, this process can be tedious and time-consuming. That’s why password generators can be beneficial for quickly solving these problems. However, the passwords they generate will not be simple or easy to remember. And because of this, they all likely require the use of a password manager.
What Makes Passwords Secure
|Length of the Password
|Upper and Lowercase letters
|Include Special Characters
|Avoid Common Passwords
|Avoid Full Words
Passwords need to be strong so a hacker cannot easily guess them. But what makes passwords strong? This is typically decided by the length of the password. The combination of upper and lower case characters also plays a role. Adding in special characters makes the number of potential combinations much higher. Finally, the avoidance of common words and phrases.
Why to Use a Strong Password
Hackers trying to guess your password would eventually succeed given an infinite amount of time. But the process of guessing all these passwords takes too long. This is because of the billions of different combinations. Therefore, hackers are more likely to move on to an easier target.
Do Password Generators Work?
Passwords need to be strong to protect against hackers. One of the reasons why is because hackers use powerful computers as one of their tactics. Depending on the type of attack these computers can run programs that mimic password generators.
In a brute force type attack, they generate password after password. This continues attempting different variations until it finds the right sequence. Hackers have the power of computers working in their favor against you. So it might be a good idea to have a computer-generated strong password on your side.
Because password generators can create complex and unique combinations, they serve a legitimate purpose. This article is not an attempt to convince you to use a password generator. However, they do have their advantages and they can offer some benefit.
How a Password Generator Works
How does a password generator algorithm make a random password? The real magic comes down to the coding behind it. Programing languages allow for basically everything you see on the Internet. The only real limitations are that of the programmer who builds the code.
These programming languages don’t look anything like you would see in a book or even on this website. It is primarily a mess of brackets and strange strings of letters and numbers. But through all of the clutter, there is an amazing amount of logical reasoning.
This reasoning allows the programmer to tell the code what to do. But it also allows a lot of opportunities for the program to make some decisions for itself. The most relevant feature this allows for is randomization.
For example, the program chooses each letter, number, and symbol at random. Then they are strung together. The programmer puts some restrictions in place to ensure the combination conforms to common password requirements. They can determine the length and complexity of the resulting random password.
How they are used
Password generators are very convenient because you can use them on the spot. This can be right at the time a new password is in need. Many password managers have generators built into their software. So they can be created and securely stored in a seamless way.
It is a poor practice to use one password for multiple accounts. Therefore there are often new opportunities to generate additional passwords.
Benefits of a Password Generator
- Easy to Use
- Save Time
- Produce Multiple Passwords
- Create Strong Passwords
- Meet Password Requirements
One benefit is that they can be convenient. While it is not too difficult to create your own strong password not everybody has the knowledge and patience to do this. Password generators require simply the click of a button.
The use of password generators has the potential to save you time. Instead of having to think of a new variation for a password you may already have in mind, a working password can be provided.
Some generators can bulk generate passwords or provide them in a batch. This is another consideration that can save you time when many passwords are needed at once.
They are also able to generate a password based on input from the user. This information can be used to create more complicated and stronger passwords than what the user is capable of on their own.
Finally, many websites require your password to conform to strict standards. A great benefit of generators is your password is more likely to be accepted. There is a good chance of it being the correct length with the right level of complexity.
Depending on the program, it is possible to suggest a starting point. This means if you enter a word or phrase based on a word, a generator can create a password around it.
For example, if I provided the word “applesauce”, the password generator would take each character and incorporate it into the password it creates. This word or phrase would obviously have to be altered. So the output may not contain every letter in the same sequence. Because that would defeat the purpose of turning it into a password.
However, there will be very many similarities and oftentimes substitutions are made. Also, special characters may be added to increase the length and level of complexity.
You may want to start with a passphrase like this when creating a password that is easy to remember. The question is whether you remember the initial passphrase. Furthermore, you will have to remember all of the different ways this passphrase was altered.
Bulk Password Generators
This can be beneficial if the password generator you use provides the feature of batching password generation. One use would be for network administrators. They can create multiple accounts for their users at one time.
Another benefit would be for any user to update many of their own accounts at one time. There is a downside once these passwords are generated. Each website they are intended for needs to be accessed and updated manually.
Password Generator vs Password Manager
Both types of software are similar in they both directly handle users’ passwords. The purpose of a generator is to create strong passwords, sometimes in bulk. While the function of a manager is to safely store and conveniently use passwords.
Password managers use encryption to make it harder for hackers to use your password. This is helpful even if they intercept your password. Many managers also offer other features. The ability to autofill your password to speed up the login process saves you time. Read our article about password managers like Google’s.
One thing to keep in mind is most password managers offer a password generation feature within their program. This streamlines the process by eliminating the need for multiple programs.
Although people frequently use them together, the major difference between password generators and managers is they do not share functions. Generators do not store passwords once they create them. They suggest new passwords then don’t save them.
Because generators don’t store passwords there is no requirement for them to be secure. So it is the responsibility of the user to protect them. They can use a password manager which is helpful for organizing and accessing passwords. But managers do not create passwords in the first place.
Best Password Generator
Which Password Generator You Should Use
I recommend using BitWarden. You can find it at their website https://bitwarden.com/
This program allows you to generate random passwords. You can even create the best passwords for free online right on their website. It has the extra feature of telling you how long it would potentially take a hacker to guess. I believe this is the best password generator tool. There are many like it. But I have yet to find one better.
If you don’t use Bitwarden, a good password generator is also offered by Norton. They are reputable and you may recognize them from years of providing antivirus protection.
When using an iPhone, Apple uses a generator built into their iCloud Keychain. To enable this feature, navigate to the Settings screen and select your name. From there, under iCloud, you can allow the use of Keychain.
There is a seemingly endless supply of generators from companies such as LastPass, Dashlane, and others. They are all capable of providing very strong passwords. They may be a convenient choice if you already employ their password manager.
|Qualities of a Good Password Generator
Regardless of which program you choose, try to stay with a reputable company. This is something you can tell by the other types of services they provide. Because password managers often include these features. And a lot of these companies also provide other cybersecurity tools such as anti-virus protection.
Avoid any website that requires you to provide any identifiable information. This can include the name of the website or platform you intend to use the password for.
You also do not want to give them any information about yourself like a name or email address. They may be able to find your profile or account on other sites. So, only use a generator that requires no input other than a passphrase suggestion.
Excel Can Generate Random Passwords
It is possible to use Microsoft Excel as a random password generator. There are many tutorials online a quick Google search can provide. However, I was able to create the above formula in a couple of minutes.
One benefit of using Excel for this purpose would be to avoid a third-party password manager. But as I have previously stated, there is no reason to question their safety. At the very least, Excel can be used to generate password ideas.
It is safe to use password generators. The storage of these passwords is what must be secure. That’s where password managers are helpful.
I recommend using password generators to create usernames too. That might sound unusual. But a hacker needs to have both to access your account. Using a complex username can only make you more secure.
For more information about how passwords are used to stop hackers, read our other article about changing passwords.